Incumbents consider options as filing deadline approaches
Two 12-year veterans to the USD 232 Board of Education have made different decisions about seeking another four years on the board.
Marsha Bennett said she would not seek re-election to her Position 7 at-large seat. The filing deadline for the spring School Board/City Council elections is Jan. 21.
Should more than one person file for the at-large position, there will be a district-wide primary Feb. 25. If a primary is needed for any of the remaining seats, they are contested in the position's district. General elections are opened up to the entire district.
"I decided some time ago 12 years is long enough," Bennett said. "I don't have any kids in school. I think that makes a little bit of a difference."
One of the last important decisions Bennett will participate in is the hiring of a superintendent to replace Marilyn Layman, who announced her retirement last month.
"The first thing we did when I got to the Board was hire Marilyn, so it's kind of come full circle," she said. "It's been a very rewarding and challenging experience. I think we've accomplished a lot of good things."
Another 12-year veteran, Curtis Allenbrand, said he would seek re-election to his Lexington Township, or Position 3, seat.
"I told Dr. Layman I would even before she said she was going to retire," he said. "I guess I'll give it one more shot."
Rick Walker, incumbent for the first position seat of De Soto, couldn't be reached for comment. De Soto City Councilman John Taylor said, however, he was considering running for that seat.
"I'm still kind of contemplating one way or the other whether or not I'm going to run for the City Council or run for the School Board. I have people wanting me to run for the School Board."
There is enough interest to force a primary, Taylor said.
"There are some pretty unhappy people in town," he said. "They're tired of the 7-0 votes."
The De Soto City Council seats currently held by Brad Seaman and Linda Zindler will also be contested.
"I do plan on filing for re-election," Zindler said. "One more time if the voters would have me, and that will be it.
"If re-elected, I will strive to continue to serve the interests of the people of De Soto. I want to concentrate on policy and not politics."
Seaman said he hadn't yet decided whether he would seek another four years.
"There are lot of things I'm excited about," he said. "I'm confident in our leadership, our staff and mayor, and I'd like to be a part of that team. My family would probably prefer I didn't. It will probably go right down to the wire before I make a decision."