VERDE VALLEY - The ballots are set for local school board elections Nov. 2. Wednesday was the final day to qualify to be included on the ballot for seats on school boards, fire and special districts. The elections are non-partisan. The ballots are fixed based on the number of nominating signatures, pending verification by the County Elections Department.
In some cases, districts will have no election since there are only enough candidates who qualified to fill the available seats under new state law. Those races include Cottonwood-Oak Creek, Beaver Creek Elementary, the Valley Academy of Career and Technical Education and Yavapai College District #5.
Only two incumbents submitted petition signatures for three seats to be elected in Cottonwood Oak Creek. Incumbents Jason Finger and Janice Rollins will be seated for an another four-year term. County School Superintendent Tim Carter will name a third person to fill the vacancy Lori Simmons will vacate. She has chosen not to run for an additional term.
Steve Dockery, Tom Moore and Leland Wieweck, all board incumbents in the Valley Academy were not challenged and will be seated to another four-year term without an election.
The Beaver Creek District also will have no election. Three seats will be filled with three candidates.
Two terms are regular four year terms to be filled by Joette Burke and Karen Dufresne. Board President Sheila Van Dyke filed and will be seated in a special two-year term created when W. O. Bill Palmer resigned after two years.
Seated board member Harold Harrington is the only candidate to fill his own expired term on the Yavapai College Board District #5 seat. That seat represents precincts in the Upper Verde Valley.
There will be a ballot for the Clarkdale-Jerome School Board election, but there will actually be no contest. Four candidates will fill four seats. All candidates are seated board members with two regular seats to be elected plus two seats, which were appointed when voters two years ago created a five member board in place of the former three-member body. The vote count in the election among candidates will actually determine length of terms. The top three vote getters will serve a four-year term. The lowest will serve two years after which the term rotation will become regular. The candidates include Rebecca O'Banion, Irma Dale Williams, Jill Zaske and Laurie Lozano
James Ledbetter is the only incumbent vying for another four-year term on the Mingus Union High School Board. Andy Groseta will not run again. Anita Glazar and Anthony Lozano, both former Mingus employees, will join Ledbetter on the ballot. Two board terms will be filled.
Camp Verde voters will choose two candidates among four for the four-year terms on the Unified School District. They include returning incumbent candidates Judy Gilbert and Andrea Wrubel along with Trent Hackett and Mark Larson.
Finally, the Sedona Oak Creek School district will fill two board seats. Incumbents Carolyn Huggins, Karen McClelland qualified for the ballot along with newcomer Zachary Richardson.
Early voting begins Oct. 7 for the Nov. 2 ballot.