Eudora News and Information – www.eudorareporter.com
The race for Eudora School Board has begun with multiple candidates filing for one of the four available seats this spring.
Bryan Maring was the first candidate to file on January 5. Until Friday, no one else had put their name in the hat for the race. The Douglas County Courthouse must have had a long line on Friday because 4 candidates filed. Sitting board members Joe Pyle and Mark Chrislip filed along with two new comers, Mike Howard and Kelly Holder.
We reached out to all the candidates to ask them why they were running for the Board. Everyone talked about their concerns over state financing in the future. Governor Sam Brownback has announced his intentions to seek an end to the current school funding formula and rewrite it in the wake of state budget shortfalls.
Mike Howard has lived in Eudora for nine years and has a child in both Middle School and High School.
“I want to figure out the best way to use the money we have with the funding cuts likely to come,” Howard said. “We are going to have to make tough choices as we go forward.”
Kelly Holder has some educational background. He has worked for the State Department of Education and taught post secondary education at the University of Arkansas-Fort Smith. Holder has a daughter who is in Kindergarten at Eudora Elementary.
“Every School District is going to face some challenges with funding,” Holder said while referring to looming changes in state aid. Holder also referred to a particular situation he saw as important.
“My daughter only has art two times a month,” Holder stated. “I’d like to see an increase in arts education.”
The two veterans of the Board who are running for another term also felt concern over possible budget woes in the future.
“We’ve done a lot of good things in the district and I’m very proud of that,” Joe Pyle said. “We are likely going to have some real challenges with funding from the state and having served for 12 years I feel my experience can contribute to the process of making those decisions.”
Mark Chrslip, the longest serving member of the board at 24 years wants to return for a seventh term.
“I really feel passionate about the good education system in Eudora,” Chrislip said. “We have had such good success and I want to continue to be a part of it.”
As we were ready to go to post on the website, we learned that Lynn Reazin has filed for the School Board race as well on Monday. Reazin is the wife of City Commission member Tim Reazin. Her candidacy makes for six candidates for the four seats.
On the City Commission race, the exact opposite is occurring. Former Mayor and current Commission member Ruth Hughs is so far the only candidate to file for the race. Three seats are up for election in the March election.
“It has been an honor to serve our community the last 5 years as a city commissioner and I have decided to run for a second term,” Hughs told us. “I have learned a lot about being a ‘city decision maker’ and would like to use that knowledge another 4 years.”
Hughs has served on the Commission since March, 2010. She was appointed to replace Fred Stewart who had resigned. Hughs won her first campaign handily in the 2011 election. She also has the distinction of being the first female Mayor in the history of Eudora.
We have reports of some interested parties but as of Monday night, no one has filed for the election. The deadline to file is Tuesday at Noon. Commission candidates must file at Eudora City Hall. School Board members file at the Douglas County Courthouse. We will do a final election update following the Noon deadline on Tuesday.