Nominations open for District 51

Less than a week after the appointment of the newest member of the District 51 School Board, the district is accepting nominations for the next round of school board candidates.

Anyone interested in running for the District C, D or E seat on the board in the 
Nov. 5 election can pick up a nomination petition at the Office of the Superintendent of Schools at 2115 Grand Ave.    Candidates have to get at least 50 valid signatures from voters who live within District 51 boundaries and turn them in at the superintendent’s office by 4 p.m. Aug. 30.

Candidates also have to file a written notice of intention to be a candidate with the district by that deadline.

The Mesa County Elections Division will verify petition signatures during the first week of September, which will officially determine who is eligible to have their names listed on the November ballot.

All candidates must be registered voters who have lived within District 51 boundaries for at least 12 consecutive months and must live in the district they want to represent. No one who has been convicted of a sexual offense against a child is allowed to run for a board seat.

A board term is four years and two full terms are the maximum amount a person can serve on the board. District D board member Leslie Kiesler is term-limited, leaving that seat wide open for challengers.

Petitions were made available Wednesday. By Friday afternoon, two people had picked up petitions in District D, according to District 51 Executive Assistant to the Superintendent Terri Wells.

Those two people are former District 51 administrator Tom Parrish and Mike Lowenstein, a member of now-defunct District 51 School Security and Safety Work Group.

The District C seat belonged to the late Harry Butler, who would have been term-limited in this election. John Williams was appointed to the District C seat and sworn in Tuesday to a term that will last until the election.

Williams and many of the five other people who interviewed for the appointment indicated they will seek election to the seat in November.

One of those candidates, Pat Kanda, has picked up a petition form. Lonnie White, a friend of Butler’s who served on several District 51 committees, also picked up his petition papers and turned them in with 84 signatures last week.

Board President Greg Mikolai has picked up nomination petitions to run to retain his seat on the board as well.

Maps of the school board member boundaries are available at d51schools.org.

In general, District C encompasses central and north-central Grand Junction; District D includes parts of Fruitvale, Pear Park and Orchard Mesa; and District E includes East Orchard Mesa, Clifton and Palisade.


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