Sunday, July 5, 2009

Upcoming city council and school board elections

On Friday, Sept. 4, the city clerk will start taking nomination papers or filing fees to run for city council this year.
Ward councilors and the mayor run every two years; at-large councilors run for four year terms. This November, Dr. Douglas Black and Dan St. Hilaire are up for re-election. There is no word yet on whether they plan on running for re-election or not. It is doubtful that St. Hilaire would step down considering that he was just elected four years ago. Dr. Black, who brought me and my eldest son into the world, was flirting with retirement back in 2005. At nearly 80, he might consider stepping down but I haven't heard anything.
According to sources, Mayor Jim Bouley will be running for a second term. One could easily wonder why he might want to run again, since the next two years are bound to be extremely difficult. But, at the same time, he has done a pretty good job being mayor. He seems to listen and gives everyone in the community any interaction they ask for. It is clear that while you may not agree with everything he says or does, he cares deeply about the city. It shows in everything he does.
Right around the same time as nominations for council open up, they also open up for school board. School board members run citywide for their seats. Three are up this year - Kass Ardinger, Christopher Casko, and Clint Cogswell.
There are rumors that Cogswell is planning a run for re-election. No word yet on the other two.
I will say that I voted for Casko in 2005, when he ran unsuccessfully, and again in 2006. I liked his folksy, straightforward manner. But I have to admit that I have been disappointed with his tenure. He just doesn't seem like he is all there during the meetings and that's not a good thing. Compare his presence to Laura Bonk and you'll get what I mean. She wants answers and won't stop pecking away until she gets them. He just sits there.
The school system is at a crossroads and the administration seems hellbent on spending $60-plus million consolidating the elementary schools, warehousing our children into bigger schools that the taxpayers can't afford and parents don't want.
The 2009 election will be a crucial one as it may be the last time for sane, fiscally responsible leaders to be elected to both the council and school board. Here's hoping we get some good challengers and have some good discussions about where the city is headed.

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