Post Independent opinion: Hamilton, Weir, Biggs for RFSD Re-1 school board
Glenwood Springs, CO Colorado
Along with a mill levy override proposal, voters in the Roaring Fork School District must decide among five candidates running for three seats on the school board. The prevailing candidates will be elected to four-year terms, and they will be setting policy on matters well beyond the immediate crisis in school district finance.
In District B, Matt Hamilton of Carbondale is running unopposed for an open seat. Although we prefer to see competition for elected offices, we are confident that Hamilton will make a thoughtful and articulate board member, and we support his candidacy.
In District C, Terry Lott Richardson and Phil Weir are vying for another open seat. While Lott Richardson brings a fresh voice to school district activism, we are endorsing Weir because of his depth of knowledge and service with the district as a parent volunteer.
In District D, incumbent Myles Rovig is facing a challenge from Daniel Biggs. Although Biggs is opposing the proposed mill levy override, which we favor, he wins our endorsement for his clear assessment of the problems the Roaring Fork district is facing.
In the race between Lott Richardson and Weir, we see an advantage to Weir’s service as president of the Sopris Elementary PIE and of the Roaring Fork Public Education Foundation, which raises money for the classroom extras the district can’t afford. Weir walks the talk on the role parents can and should play in their child’s education and school life.
While Lott Richardson makes a strong case for board members to listen, she doesn’t bring a comparable track record. We encourage her to get more involved in school-related committees, as her ideas and energy would be a valuable asset.
Weir, meanwhile, has been attending school board meetings for months, so he’s up to speed on issues facing the district.
In the race between Rovig and Biggs, we see the opportunity to elect a person who understands the trust and confidence issues facing the district in the wake of the bungled firing of Principal Sonya Hemmen.
Biggs calls the lack of trust in the school board a “pressing problem” that may lead many voters to reject the proposed mill levy override. He recognizes the funding shortfall but calls for a better strategy than the piecemeal approach of a mill levy override.
Rovig, on the other hand, is seen as a strong supporter of the district’s current policies and of Superintendent Judy Haptonstall. We feel it’s time for a change.
We do not want a school board that simply serves as a rubber stamp for policies and initiatives brought forward by the school district administration. We encourage these candidates as well as the board members who are not up for re-election to think independently and critically and to give clear guidance to the school district.
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