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School Vacancy and Westminster Vote

March 30, 1986

It still mystifies me why the Westminster School District has been forced to spend $30,000 to conduct a special election to fill the board seat left vacant by Skip Morgan's resignation last fall. The board has been charged through innuendo and blatant slander that some sort of unethical conduct prompted its appointment of Curtis Jones to the vacant seat.

Evidence abounds that the Westminster Teachers Assn. promoted and supported the petition campaign to force the special election, scheduled for April 8. It is also apparent that the WTA is supporting the candidate they had spearheading the petition drive for them.

Why? Beats me. Some charge that the WTA wants to get its candidate elected to improve its influence or control on the board. This doesn't make sense when I reflect on the degree of support it had been receiving when Curtis Jones was an active board member.

The board made public its intent to appoint the next runner-up from the November, 1985, election to the vacant seat well before the election actually took place. Curtis Jones came in fourth in that race for three seats, obtaining 1,300 votes. Special elections have always drawn a very small turnout of voters. It is quite likely that less than 1,300 voters will cast ballots in this coming election. The effect could be that the preference of the 1,300 voters who wanted Curtis in that seat might be overturned by a mere fraction of that number.

I'm puzzled by all this. It doesn't make sense. Thirty thousand dollars spent on an election with no observable purpose. A community decision-making seat selected by fewer people than originally voted for the appointee.

RANDY FRUECHTING

Westminster

Fruechting is president of the Westminster School District Board of Trustees.

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