Full cast vying for Aspen school board positions
August 24, 2005
Seven potential candidates have taken out petitions to run for three open seats on the Aspen School District board of directors, an indication that the upcoming election campaign should be an active one.Three at-large, nonpartisan positions on the board are up for election in November because board members Alice Davis, Fred Peirce and Jon Seigle have all reached term limits. All five seats on the board are four-year positions.Four candidates – Charla Belinski, Andrew Kole, Robert Langley and Elizabeth Parker – have been certified as having filed the necessary 50 signatures of “qualified electors” in the district, said Angela Rittenhouse of the district office.She said three others – David Beirne, Ernie Fyrwald and Shelly Supplee – have taken petitions out but have not yet returned them. Petitioners have until 4 p.m. Friday to turn in their petitions, Rittenhouse said.The election is Nov. 8.One of the four certified candidates, Kole, has asked that his candidacy not be formalized until Friday.”I dare say I’m considering running for the school board,” Kole said Wednesday, adding, “I haven’t made up my mind completely.”He said two of the candidates who have taken out petitions – Beirne and Fyrwald – would make “fine” board members and that he may not run if he thinks they will take two of the three available seats.The remaining two members of the board, Sally Hansen and Laura Kornasiewicz, have two years to serve on their terms before they, too, must retire from the board due to term limits.District Superintendent Diana Sirko, noting that with three out of five seats changing hands this year and the remainder in the near future, the voters could bring about significant changes in the way the district operates.”The issue for us is that we have really enjoyed a large core of our board members having longevity,” she said. No one on the board has been there for fewer than six years.”You’re a little nervous when you’re going to have a majority change on the board,” she said. But she added that she is comforted by the fact that the field of candidates seems to be a strong one.