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School Board Election Date

December 24, 2007

Over the past year there has been discussion regarding the selection of dates for future school elections. With the new Election Consolidation law, school districts either need to stay with May or move to November. Moving to November means getting lost in an already busy campaign season. In addition, it would require extending current terms having new members join the board in January – in the middle of a school year. The issue with staying in the May election window is the cost. The school districts must cover the full cost of the election, as there are no other municipalities to share the cost – like in November. For example, in November townships, cities and the county all have elections that would divide the overall cost to each entity that put candidates or proposals on the ballot.

One compromise that we have our eye on is the August election date option. House Bill 4507 was proposed to give districts the ability to schedule August regular elections. This would mean that every other year we would share the date with a primary and as a result share the cost. This bill had momentum in the Fall legislative session, but at the end it did not see action. It should be back early in the next session.

The board would have needed to act by December 31st to move to November. At our last meeting, following a discussion on the merits of each election date, the board chose not to act. One of the issues with moving to November, once a district moves, they are not allowed to move back to May. This non-action sets us up with May 6th, 2008 as our next regular election and leaves us open to respond to the August option if it becomes available – however, it would be for the 2009 election.

More information about the timeline for the May 6th election will be available in January.

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