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Published: Sunday, 5/1/2011

7 in running for 2 seats on Bedford school board

Tech levy up for vote in Monroe County

BY MARK REITER
BLADE STAFF WRITER

Voters across Monroe County will head to the polls on Tuesday to elect school board members and decide on the renewal of a countywide technology levy.

Six of the seven candidates vying for two positions on the Bedford Public Schools Board of Education are write-in candidates and their names will not appear on the ballot.

Only Mike Smith, an incumbent, met the February deadline to have his name on the ballot.

The write-in candidates are Diana Binkley, Robyne Bush, Sally Dunn, Ryan Mack, Wayne Meehean, and Michelle Wyszczelski.

Ms. Binkley, 50, is an educator and co-owner of a preschool and child-care center in Lambertville and mother of two sons who graduated from Bedford High School.

Mrs. Bush, 48, moved to Temperance two years ago after she and her husband, a township native, wrapped up careers in the military. They have two school-age daughters.

Miss Dunn, 70, was a teacher for 30 years at Waite High School in East Toledo and was a professor at the University of Toledo and Bowling Green State University. She retired to Lambertville two years ago.

Mr. Mack, 35, the father of four children, including two who attend Jackman Road Elementary, said he wants to address the district’s special needs students.

“We need to figure out what needs to be done for the benefit of the children with the lack of state funding,” said Mr. Mack, who drives trucks for Chrysler Corp.

Mr. Meehean, 65, is a retired security and maintenance worker at DTE Energy’s Fermi 2 nuclear power plant. He said he can offer fresh ideas for balancing the district’s budget.

“With the shape the district and Michigan is in and what the governor wants to take away, I think we need some new blood on the board to figure out how to give these kids a decent education,” he said.

Mrs. Wyszczelski, 45, is the director of three charity programs at Mercy St. Vincent Medical Center in Toledo and mother of a daughter who graduated in 2008 from the high school.

Mr. Smith, 37, was appointed to the board in 2006 and elected in May, 2007. He is the father of a Douglas Road Elementary student.

Polls will open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m.

In the Mason Consolidated School District, incumbents Denise Gale and Sandra Dobbs face challenges from Gary Wilmoth and Tom McGarry, Jr., for two seats on the board of education.

Mr. McGarry is a former Mason Middle School principal who was terminated in February, 2009, triggering the unsuccessful recall effort of Mrs. Dobbs and other school board members. He also was an unsuccessful candidate for a school board seat in last year’s election.

In the Ida Public Schools, five people are vying for two seats that carry four-year terms: incumbents Mitch Steils and Brian Deland face challenges from Christine Horney, Tim Janssen, and Billie Reaume. Donna Banker is running for the remaining year of the term she was appointed to fill in 2010 and is opposed by Al Peters, who is running as a write-in candidate.

Jefferson Schools incumbent Steven Bartman has joined Brian Russell and Russ Terrasi in a contest for two seats. The winners will serve four-year terms.

In uncontested Monroe County school board races, Holly Bunge and Karen Miller are on the ballot for re-election to four-year terms on the Whiteford Agricultural Schools Board of Education and Keith Olmstead and Jack Schanklin are running without opposition for two board of education seats for Summerfield Schools in Petersburg.

Linda Gram and Margaret Hoffman are the only trustee candidates for the board of educations of Dundee Schools and Airport Community Schools, respectively.

Voters also will be asked to renew a five-year levy that funds technology education for the nine school districts in Monroe County. It is the only issue that will be on the ballot.

The county collects 0.9866 mills on the tax, generating about $5.5 million for the school districts.

In Lenawee County, voters will be asked to choose among five candidates for the two open four-year board positions at Blissfield Community Schools. Incumbents Linda Hamann and Chad Horky face challenges from Robert Becky, Dave Brewer, and Kori Nieman.

In the Clinton Community Schools, incumbent Shirley Harris and Kevin Baughey are vying for a four-year term on the school board and incumbent Larry Rothman and Michael Walters are running for a partial term that will expire in 2012. The school district is also asking voters to renew an 18-mill operating levy.

The Hudson Area Schools is asking residents to consider a 2.5-mill, $8 million bond proposal to fix the aging school facilities and athletic field.

A 1.26-mill bond proposal will go before voters in the Madison School District to finance construction of a $3.6 million performing arts addition and high school renovation project. Voters in the Madison Township school district near Adrian also will decide on a 18-mill operating renewal.

Kimberly Amstutz-Wild, Gregg Hardy, and incumbent Matthew Oren are running for two, four-year terms on the board of education at Tecumseh Public Schools.

In Onsted Community Schools, voters will be asked to renew an 18-mill tax on nonhomestead property that generates approximately $2 million for the district operating budget.

Voters in the Tecumseh school district will be asked to renew the 18-mill, five-year property tax levy on nonhomestead property.

Contact Mark Reiter at: markreiter@theblade.com or 419-724-6199.



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