Archive for Thursday, January 15, 2009

West-side board seat draws two

January 15, 2009

Less than two weeks until the deadline to file for the USD 232 School Board election, only two people have filed and both are new to the game.

Margaret Johnson and Roger Templin have filed to run for election in the school boards Position 4 of De Soto and the unincorporated area to the south and west. Current position holder Randy Johnson filed for De Soto’s mayoral race.

Each school board position holds a four-year term.

Margaret Johnson, no relation to Randy, filed as a way to help in the community where her son attends high school.

Johnson, who does not have board or council experience, works for the Shawnee Mission School District as a communication behavior disorder paraprofessional.

“I’ve seen how their system works and want to bring some unity to the education board,” she said.

Johnson has also owned and operated Overland Park Auto with her husband for the past 25 years.

Bringing someone fresh to the table is an advantage, Johnson said.

“I just think our children are so important to the future,” she said. “And now with the economy the way it is I don’t want the schools to suffer. I think there is a lot on the plate and I’m up for the challenge.”

Templin filed for election as a new way to participate in the community after eight years on the city’s planning commission.

“I’ve always been an avid supporter of the school district,” he said. “And I’d like to continue that given the opportunity to be on the board,”

Templin, who has a daughter in middle school and a son in elementary, said his experience on the strategic planning of the school district in 2000, city planning commission and as a board member and president at Highlawn Montessori helped prepare him for the school board.

The biggest issue facing USD 232 is growth, Templin said.

While having advocated for school bonds in the past, Templin said he did not support the last several in part because he thought the districts plan needs to be updated and revised.

“The inputs have changed,” he said. “We aren’t issuing as many building permits, that gives the opportunity to rethink what we’re doing.

Templin, who currently works as an attorney for Payne & Jones Law Firm in Overland Park, said he would step down from the planning commission in April, win or lose.

As for school board Positions 5 and 6, no filings had been made as of Wednesday morning.

Current Position 5 representative Janine Gracy said earlier this month that she intended to file for re-election. Larry Meyer, board president and position 6 representative, said earlier in the month that he was on the fence about seeking re-election.

A primary would be necessary in the USD 232 contested seats if three or more candidates file for any of the three positions. The primary is limited to the voters living within the position’s boundaries, but the top-two vote getters would move on to a April 7 general election that would be contested district-wide.

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