Archive for Thursday, February 22, 2007

Cutdown day

Tuesday’s primary to reduce field it two USD 232 races

February 22, 2007

In decisions that could have huge implications about the sizes of local schools and a future bond issue, voters in De Soto USD 232 will head to the polls Tuesday to limit the field of candidates for two school board positions. Four candidates will compete for two spots in the upcoming regular election April 3.

For this primary, the polling place for voters in all De Soto precincts and Lexington Township will be the De Soto Community Center, 32905 W. 84th St.

Johnson County elections official Brian Newby said the reason for the limited number of polling places was because of an expected drop in the number of voters.

"We've done a lot of consolidating for this election to save taxpayer money," Newby said. "The average for the county is expected to be about 7 percent."

Advance voting may be done in person from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Thursday and Friday, from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Saturday, or from 9 a.m. to noon Monday at the Johnson County Election office, 2101 E. Kansas City Road in Olathe. Mail-in advance ballots must be received at the election office by 7 p.m. on Election Day.

The school board elections in De Soto will be limited to the USD 232 at-large position. The two candidates of the four in the race getting the most votes Tuesday will move on to the general election.

Elsewhere in the De Soto school district, the Position 2 seat for Shawnee will get narrowed down from three to two candidates. The outcome is of interest to De Soto because the contest between two surviving candidates will be open to all district voters.

The Johnson County Community College Board of Trustees primary will also be on the De Soto ballot.

Board Member Position Seven (At Large)

Richard Brazukas

Occupation: Business owner

Biggest issue: Fiscal responsibility

Other info: Two children in De Soto schools

"The old school board made decisions people don't like. We should provide the best education the taxpayers can afford."

Don Clark (Incumbent)

Occupation: Investment advisor

Biggest issue: Student learning

Other info: USD 232 Board member since 2003 -- current Johnson County representative Kansas State High School Activities Association, three children currently in De Soto schools

"We have to balance student learning with fiscal responsibility. You have to look at what we can afford and what helps the kids."

Kevin Straub

Occupation: Realtor

Biggest issue: Improving education while reducing debt

Other info: Shawnee City Council member since 2006, two children in fifth and eighth grades

"Spending money is not helping educate our kids. We need to focus on education instead of having the best bells and whistles."

Kasey Willnauer

Occupation: Student

Biggest issue: Community involvement

Other info: 2006 graduate of De Soto High School

"The district hasn't been spending money wisely. These decisions should be made with more help from the community. Not everyone's idea is always listened to."

Board Member Position Two

Bob Dyche

Occupation: General Motors assembly

Biggest issue: Boundaries

Other info: Two children in school

"The public should be more involved with future boundaries. As a fiscally responsible board member you have to make tough decisions."

Donald Gentry

Occupation: Missouri Department of Transportation IT manager

Biggest issue: The bond

Other info: five kids in the De Soto school district

"I believe we may need two or three bonds to let the voters choose what they want and what the impact will be on boundaries."

Jim Thomas

Occupation: Adjunct faculty at Baker University

Biggest issue: Educating and investing in children

Other info: USD 232 Board member 1999-2005, had two children go through district

"Everybody's preoccupied with the money and size. We're doing a pretty good job with schools the way they are. I don't want to see the schools get much bigger."

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