Moffat County Education Association to host school board candidate forum


If you go…

What: Moffat County Education Association question-and-answer forum with 2011 Moffat County School Board candidates

When: 5 p.m. Tuesday

Where: Moffat County High School auditorium, 900 Finley Lane

Election information

The Nov. 1 election is being conducted entirely by mail. There will be no polling locations on Tuesday, Nov. 1. Ballots will be mailed to registered voters beginning Tuesday and may be returned to the elections office by mail or dropped off at four locations in Moffat County during the following hours:

• Moffat County Clerk & Recorder’s Office

221 W. Victory Way

Tuesday to Oct. 31 — 8 a.m. to 4:45 p.m. Monday to Friday

Nov. 1 — 7 a.m. to 7 p.m.

• City of Craig

300 W. Fourth St.

Tuesday to Nov. 1 — 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday

• Maybell Library

202 Collom St., Maybell

Tuesday to Oct. 28 — 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.Wednesday to Saturday

• Dinosaur Library

400 W. School St.

Tuesday to noon Nov. 1 — 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. Wednesday and Thursday

— Registered voters who do not receive a ballot in the mail by Friday, Oct. 14 should call Moffat County Elections Supervisor Stephanie Beckett at 824-9120.

The Moffat County High School speech and debate team will moderate a question-and-answer forum with this year’s Moffat County School Board candidates next week.

The event, hosted by the Moffat County Education Association, is open to the public and will take place at 5 p.m. Tuesday in the MCHS auditorium, 900 Finley Lane.

MCEA President David Grabowski said this is an opportunity for the public to meet its candidates.

“It’s mainly for information for the public to get to know candidates a little bit better,” Grabowski said. “(The speech and debate team) volunteered to run the event for us.”

Grabowski said MCEA is compiling the questions, which will include topics like personal background information and questions about school district programs in general.

All of the candidates will receive a draft of the questions today, Grabowski said. At present, there will not be an opportunity for the public to raise questions during the forum.

“But there will be a chance for the public to meet with candidates after the program,” Grabowski said. “It more has to do with time constraints than anything else.”

No one will be representing District 7 at the forum because potential candidates failed to meet the registration deadline, Grabowski said. The vacancy will be addressed by the school board following the Nov. 1 election.

Tony St. John, running in District 3 and the only incumbent in the school board race, said he is disappointed no one stepped up in District 7.

“We have around 2,400 students in our schools,” St. John said. “We should try to do our part in the community and it really doesn’t take much time. I just wish we were going to have somebody.”

J.B. Chapman, running unopposed in District 1, agrees.

“There was a dismal turnout to get people to run for school board,” Chapman said. “We need to get people involved.

“It’s always good to visit with folks and hopefully this forum will open dialogue because we need their input.”

In spite of not having District 7 represented, St. John said he is excited about the public forum because nothing like it was organized during his first campaign.

“I’m looking real forward to it,” St. John said. “I’m happy we at least have people running (in the other districts).”

St. John’s District 3 opponent, Debbie Belleville, said she is going to treat the public forum as another experience to educate herself on the school board process.

“I think it’s going to be a good educational tool,” Belleville said. “And, I’m probably going to learn more than I will be able to contribute.”

Belleville, who teaches nail technology classes at Colorado Northwestern Community College’s Craig campus during the evenings, said she first became interested in running for school board while serving as a volunteer in the school district last year.

“I think the education of our children is important,” Belleville said. “Even though my own kids are grown and out of college now doesn’t mean there’s not a child in the county that I can’t do something positive for.”

District 5 candidate Ken Wergin said he has already received a lot of comments about the state of the economy and Proposition 103 from the community. He thinks the biggest challenge facing the school board in the next year is appropriating funds in a manner that benefits the students.

Also running for school board is District 5 candidate Sherry St. Louis. St. Louis could not be reached for comment.

For more information about the forum, call Dave Grabowski at 826-6568.

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