This is a good thing, not only because it brings these key local elections into the mainstream election cycle, but also because many more voters typically turn out for the general election. As a result, more voters will take notice and have their say in the critical selection of their school board of trustees.
In Southwest Allen County Schools (Aboite and Lafayette townships), three of five school board seats are on the ballot this fall. Perhaps because of the change in timing and the higher visibility of the election, new candidates have filed to challenge long-serving incumbents who have not recently faced opposition.
Voters in the district have a choice between two candidates for each of the three positions on the board.
The challengers in all three contests are qualified professionals and are parents whose children attend SACS schools or have recently graduated from Homestead.
In two of the races challengers face incumbents running for their fourth four-year terms on the school board. Local attorney Jason Kuchmay faces 12-year incumbent Mark Gilpin, a business owner. Joe Greco, a business development manager with Steel Dynamics, is challenging 12-year incumbent John Blum, a banker.
For the third at-large seat, incumbent John Bloom is retiring from the board after serving more than 20 years. Contending for this seat are challenger Meagan Milne, a lawyer and community volunteer, and Sherry Chapman, who served eight years on the SACS board but was defeated for re-election in 2010.
Will SACS voters look this year to new leaders to bring different perspectives and life experiences to the board?
Voters will listen to the challengers’ ideas and critical suggestions, what changes and improvements they would propose. Likewise, voters will expect the incumbents to discuss their record and share their views for the future.
Undoubtedly, this will be the district’s most interesting school board election in recent years.
Fred Warner, former member, Southwest Allen County Schools boardOur state is at risk of being sold to vultures. That is if Mike Pence — nonresident professional politician and betrayer of the American Dream — is elected as our next governor.
Pence not only is stone-cold when it comes to compassion for the poor and disenfranchised, but he’s also the property of big business interests: the gluttonous greedy who worship money and power. This at the expense of average working families, many of which are struggling to get by.
Ask Congressman Pence to identify the big out-of-state interests — especially PACs — that have funded his campaign: the super-rich, both individual and corporate. You won’t get an honest answer. Pence doesn’t want you to know.
The Bible says that the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. Jesus adds that we can’t serve both God and mammon.
Most of us have already put our trust in God. Mike Pence, however, seems to have chosen mammon.
Rev. Thomas E. Sagendorf, United Methodist clergy