Peirce, Wills for Aspen Board of Education |

Peirce, Wills for Aspen Board of Education

The Aspen Times
Aspen, CO Colorado

Serving on any school board is an act of selflessness, especially at a time like this, when tough decisions must be made.

Three Aspen residents, however, have stepped up to the plate to run for the Aspen School District Board of Education, which has two open seats. The Aspen Times endorses Sandra Peirce and Sheila Wills for those posts.

Throughout the campaign season, Peirce and Wills have outgained their formidable opponent, Carmen Dowley, by demonstrating a levelheadedness necessary to navigate the school district through these financially tumultuous times.

We are impressed with Wills’ uncanny knack to negotiate: She is an attorney who once practiced in mergers and acquisitions, and has experience in education as well. Wills brings to the table a solid background that would help her as the board faces difficult budget decisions.

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Saying that, her priorities for the school district are fairly straightforward: “Reading, writing and arithmetic,” as she puts it, are the key ingredients to a solid education. And she will govern from the board with that academic emphasis in mind.

Wills also has pledged to find creative ways to solve the district’s fiscal challenges, and her professional background is testament to that.

We were initially apprehensive about giving the nod to Peirce, chiefly because she would be stepping in the seat her husband, Fred, vacated because of term limits.

But the mother of two has shown over the course of her campaign that she won’t simply be a clone of her husband, or that she has a political agenda. Sandra Peirce realizes that tough budget cuts await the board, but she has said that she will work hard so that those cuts don’t affect the classroom.

Peirce brings with her a background that has her primed for the job, having served on numerous boards, ranging from the District Accountability Committee for eight years to the School Accountability Committee for nine.

And make no mistake, Dowley is one of the most involved parent educators in the Aspen area. We believe she would make a fine board member, but we also feel that Peirce and Wills have risen above her in terms of the professionalism they would bring to the table.

Vote Sandra Peirce and Sheila Wills for the Aspen School District Board of Education.

Also, with ballots due at the Pitkin County Clerk and Recorder’s Office by Nov. 1, the following is a recap of The Aspen Times endorsements:

Referendum 1A – Vote YES on this extension and increase of a property tax that that will support a number of nonprofits through the Healthy Community Fund.

Referendum 1B – The potential upgrading of wireless and Internet services through the county’s FM and TV translator system will come at no extra cost to taxpayers. Vote YES.

Referendum 1C – Vote YES on this question that updates the Home Rule Charter’s language pertaining to elected offices.

Referendum 3A – Vote YES on eliminating term limits for seats on the Board of Education. It’s difficult enough to find committed, qualified residents to serve on this low-profile board responsible for major decisions.

Referendum 3E – Vote YES on this property tax measure to support schools throughout the middle and lower valley.

Proposition 103 – Vote YES on this measure to increase taxes to support public education.

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