Back to Home Page

Local Links
Sun Valley Guide
Hemingway in Sun Valley
Real Estate

For the week of March 28 through April 3, 2001

Askew’s retirement opens school board seat

South-county seat also up for election

Express Staff Writer

Janet Askew, vice chair of the Blaine County School District Board of Trustees, plans to retire from the board when her term ends in July and will not seek another term in the May 15 trustee election. Now, the school district is looking for someone living in the area she serves north of Hailey to replace her in representing the interests of Blaine County public school students.

In the south-county area that includes Carey, Picabo, Gannett, Glendale and some of Bellevue, school board incumbent Howard Royal’s current term also ends in July; however, he plans to run again.

Anyone wishing to run for either seat has until April 13 to file a declaration of candidacy with the district. The declaration must be signed by eight supporters from the candidate’s area.

Previous school board elections have generated little public interest, board clerk Cathy Zaccardi said during an interview, though she’s hopeful a replacement for Askew will step forward. She "doubts very much," however, that anyone will run against Royal.

As of Tuesday, no one had filed with the school district office to either challenge Royal or vie for Askew’s seat. Zaccardi said the board would likely appoint a replacement for Askew if nobody runs, though that has never happened, and she didn’t want to provide details about how it would work.

"The trustee election turn-outs are very, very low," Zaccardi said. "I think voter apathy is important no matter what you’re voting on. It’s unfortunate."

She said serving on the board is important because its five members establish educational policies for the district; raise, spend and account for the district’s considerable budget; and plan for the school system’s improvement.

Trustees meet generally on the second Tuesday evening of every month and are not paid.

During an interview, the retiring Askew said the 10 to 20 hours per month trustees spend serving on the board is important because "the education of our children determines the future of our community."

The board especially needs trustees with money-handling skills, with a knowledge of law or with children in the district, she said, though anyone with an interest in affecting education can make a good trustee.

"A variety of perspectives is important on the school board," she said. A nurse by profession, Askew joined the board six years ago in part because she had children attending school in the district.

Candidates for the three-year terms must meet the same qualifications required when registering to vote and must live in the area they represent.

The election is scheduled to occur on May 15 only if seats are contested. Polls would be open from noon until 8 p.m. at the Carey School and Bellevue Elementary School for the south-county seat and at Hailey Elementary school for the north Hailey seat.

Only voters from the respective areas may cast ballots.


Back to Front Page
Copyright © 2001 Express Publishing Inc. All Rights reserved. Reproduction in whole or in part in any form or medium without express written permission of Express Publishing Inc. is prohibited.