A pair of Huron Valley Schools (HVS) Board of Education seats are up for grabs during the Nov. 8 general election, but a familiar face in the community will not be returning to the ballot.
Long-standing board member John Knight has decided not to seek re-election after serving the community for 20 years.
“It’s time for new blood on the board,” Knight said, adding he also struggled with the board’s decision to oust Chuck Dittmar from his role as board president.
“I can no longer work with the current majority of the board effectively,” he said.
Apparently tradition was breached when former Treasurer Sean Carlson was nominated for the board president position while Dittmar held the role after Lisa Blackwell stepped down. Dittmar had served only a few months before the board majority tapped Carlson to take Dittmar’s place at the helm.
“It showed a total lack of integrity by passing over Chuck as board president,” Knight said. “They ignored years of board precedent and side-stepped him. At that point I became very disenchanted.”
Knight added that it was Dittmar’s turn to serve, given his seniority.
“The organizational method is that everyone who serves should have the opportunity after proving yourself and it was Chuck’s turn to serve,” Knight said. “During his brief time, he did an excellent job and put away his own agenda and thoughts.”
Knight, the most tenured board member, has a term expiring Dec. 31, 2011.
Board Secretary Bonnie Brown, who was appointed in 2010 to complete Debbie Squire’s term which also expires on Dec. 31, has opted to run for her first full term of office.
“Though it has been a tumultuous past six months, I am committed to the providing the highest quality education to our students in Huron Valley,” Brown said. “I would very much like to remain on the board and would be honored to have the community I represent elect me.”
In December 2010, the board approved a resolution to revise the election cycle for the district from odd years to even years so it aligns with state and national election cycles. According to Carlson, elections held in odd years cost the district, and in turn cost taxpayers approximately $40,000 to $60,000 per election, while elections held in even years cost nothing.
To transition to the even-year cycle, board members elected in the November 2011 and 2013 elections will have their terms extended by one year to align with the even-year cycle. Although the November 2011 ballot will state the board member is elected for a four-year term, following the election, the Board of Education will take action to extend the board seat lengths for one year in order to effectuate the policy change that was approved on Dec. 16, 2010.
Candidacy paperwork must include an affidavit of identity; and either a nominating petition with a minimum of 40 signatures or maximum of 100 signatures from registered electors of the school district, or a non-refundable check of $100.
Candidacy paperwork must be filed by 4 p.m. on Aug. 16.
A candidate filing information packet can be requested online at www.oakgov.com or by calling the Elections Division at (248) 858-0564.
Board members receive $30 per meeting for up to 52 meetings per year and receive reimbursement for board-related travel, including training and expenses.