||Deadline approaches for local elections
By Chris Strunk
Last Updated: May 18, 2017
The new timeline for local elections is underway as candidates have until June 1 to file for city and school district offices. If a primary election is needed, it will take place Aug. 1. The general election will be Nov. 7, with advance voting beginning Oct. 25.
Local elections have historically taken place during the spring of odd-numbered years.
However, state lawmakers changed the format of local elections in an effort, some said, to encourage voter turnout. Some lawmakers had wanted to move local elections to even-numbered years, combining them with larger elections.
However, a compromise was to keep them during odd-numbered years, but change the timeline.
The change affects the Valley Center school board as well as city elections in Valley Center, Park City, Kechi and Bel Aire.
In the school district, three at-large seats are up for election to four-year terms.
Brad Barbour, Bart Balthazor and Richard Harris will see their terms expire in January.
Though no one had filed as of May 16, each has indicated to The News that he will run for re-election.
Barbour is finishing his second four-year term. Balthazor is finishing his third four-year term. Harris' history with the board isn't as simple. He was elected in 2005, lost election four years later, but was appointed in 2009 to fill an unexpired term through 2011. He lost another election in 2011, but was appointed to the board in May 2013 after winning election to a four-year term that started in July 2013.
Winners in the November election will take office in January.
In the Valley Center City Council elections, one seat in each ward is up for election — Lou Cicirello (Ward 1), Brendan McGettigan (Ward 2), Jake Jackson (Ward 3) and Al Hobson (Ward 4).
Four-year terms start in January.
As of May 16, one person, Ray Strunk, had filed for the Ward 1 seat.
Similar to Valley Center, one seat in each ward of the Park City council is up for election — John Lehnherr (Ward 1), George Glover (Ward 2), Gary Aldrich (Ward 3) and Melvin Kerr (Ward 4).
The mayor's position also is up for election. All are four-year terms.
As of May 16, Glover, Aldrich, Kerr and Mayor Raymond Mann had filed for re-election.
In Kechi, where two council members are serving out unexpired terms, two positions are up for election, those held by Margaret McCormick and Betty Washington. They replaced Virginia Riemann and Deb Jacobs.
The mayor position also is up for election. It is held by Ed Parker.
All are four-year terms.
Kechi resident and former Valley Center teacher John Speer filed as candidate for mayor.
Four of the five at-large council seats in Bel Aire are up for election. They are held by Peggy O'Donnel, Guy MacDonald, Ramona Becker and Diane Wynn. The top three vote-getters will fill three four-year terms, while the fourth will take Wynn's position, which was an unexpired term that will run through January 2020.
The mayor's position also is up for election. It is held by David Austin and is a two-year term.
As of May 16, no one had filed for the positions.