Early birds file for school board seats
With 21 school board seats up for grabs in East Multnomah County in the May election, and only eight business days left to file to run, eight board positions have no one running as yet.
Candidates are beginning to file and as of Friday, March 3, the only contested race so far is for one seat on the Gresham-Barlow School Board.
Two experienced public servants have already filed for the Mt. Hood Community College board.
Former Multnomah County Commissioner Diane McKeel is running for the zone 1 seat currently held by board Chairwoman Suzie Jones. Although Jones still lives in the Mt. Hood district, she has moved from zone 1 and will not run again. "I remain passionately supportive of Mt. Hood Community College, even though I will no longer be able to serve on the board," she said.
No one has filed for the Mt. Hood zone 2 seat currently held by James Zordich.
Annette Mattson, who works for Portland General Electric, is running for the zone 4 seat currently held by George "Sonny" Yellott. Yellott was censured by the MHCC board in July 2016 for "repeatedly reprehensible comments" that board members considered racist.
He was asked to resign, but refused. He has not yet filed for reelection.
Candidates have until March 16 to file with the Multnomah County Board of Elections if they plan to run for one of the 21 seats.
School board members are volunteers and are not paid. Most spend more than a dozen hours per month on school board business.
Four of the seven positions on the Gresham-Barlow School Board will be elected in May. Position 5 has two candidates thus far. Danielle Currey, a naturopathic doctor and instructor at Clackamas Community College will face Jason Dugan in May, Dugan, an electrician, was co-chairman of the successful campaign that induced voters to pass the $291.2 million bond for the school district. Kent Zook occupies position 5.
Gresham-Barlow incumbents Matthew O'Connell, Carla Piluso and Sharon Garner have filed to be reelected to their seats and are so far unopposed.
Five of the seven board seats in the Reynolds School District are on the May ballot. Nobody has yet filed for position 1, currently held by Valerie Tewksbury, or position 2, held by Diego Hernandez or position 7, currently held by Stevie Chao. Incumbents John Lindenthal and Joe Teeny have filed to be reelected for their positions.
Voters will consider three of the seven positions on the Centennial School Board. Gloria Ngezaho has filed for position 1. He is an administrator at Concordia University and was appointed to the board in May to replace a board member who had resigned. Likewise, Rhonda Etherly has filed to run for position 5.
Etherly was appointed in September to fill the seat of a board member who resigned. Incumbents Rod Beottcher and Ernie Butenschoen have filed to retain their seats and so far they will run unopposed.
No one has filed yet to run for position 3 on the Centennial board.
In Corbett, only board Chairman Todd Mickalson has filed for one of the four positions that is up for election on the seven-member board. The seats are now held by David Gorman, Bob Butke and Michelle Vo.