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No candidate for Welches school board position posted on 05/01/2021

On a ballot with just one true race for the Mountain community, voters will also encounter no candidate for the Zone 3 (Welches) position on the Oregon Trail School District’s (OTSD) board of directors in the May 18 special district election. Longtime board member Kurt McKnight will not run for reelection, a decision he noted he made the last time he ran.

“I am ... to become a full time resident of Hawaii in the next two or three years,” McKnight said, adding that this is part of his long-term retirement plan. “With that I couldn’t honestly run for another term. (It’s) time for somebody else to represent the mountain area on the school board.”

McKnight added that he is “very happy” with what the board has accomplished during his tenure, including improvement in student achievement, career and technical educational offerings, the new Sandy High School building and upgrades at the other schools.

“I really can’t say enough how excited I am where our leadership has taken our district,” he said. “The board has played a part in that, but the heavy lifting has been through our administration, our union, our employees. That’s really made the difference. I’m very excited to see the opportunities ahead that we have, where we’ve come from and where we are today.”

McKnight added that he was surprised nobody filed to be a candidate for the position.

“There’s a lot of good people out there,” he said. “Hopefully their goals, vision and heart will align with the great direction the district is headed.”

McKnight also encouraged anyone who is interested to fully understand the responsibilities of the position, noting that it is important to work together on the board and not as an individual. He had served on the district’s budget committee and others in addition to being a board member and stressed that he never stopped learning about the district, education and students.

“When I first got on the school board thought I knew all the answers,” McKnight said. “And I was absolutely wrong.”

He added that one of the challenges for the next board will be the unknown effects of the pandemic and the 2020-21 school year.

“We’ve done the best we can and teachers have done the best they can, but the kids have really suffered emotionally and educationally,” McKnight said. “The collateral effects of this we may now know for a few years.”

Julia Monteith, Communications Director for the OTSD, noted that if there are several write-in candidates that receive votes for the Zone 3 (Welches) position, the person with the most votes would win. Clackamas County Elections would then send a form for the winner to either accept or decline the position. If the position is not filled, the board could appoint someone.

All OTSD voters vote on each board position, but board members must live in the zone they represent.

Marjan Salveter will run unopposed for reelection to the Zone 1 (North Sandy) position on the OTSD board of directors, while Robert Lee will run unopposed for reelection to the Zone 5 (Cottrell/Bull Run) position and Randy Carmony will run unopposed for reelection to the Zone 7 (At Large) position. All terms, including the Zone 3 (Welches) position, are for four years.

Elsewhere on the ballot, the Hoodland Fire District’s board of directors will see two members run for reelection unopposed, Mary Ellen Fitzgerald for Position 3 and Cliff Fortune for Position 5, while Nora Gambee will run unopposed for Position 4, currently held by Darcy Lais.

There are no more than one candidate for positions on Mountain water districts or the Government Camp Road board.

The only race with more than one candidate will feature John W. Bay and Dan Mancuso running for Position 2 on the Government Camp Sanitary board. That board will also have Cornelia Gunderson running unopposed for Position 4.

All official drop sites in Clackamas County are available to the public 24 hours a day starting Wednesday, April 28 through 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18. Ballots must be received by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 18.

Postage is no longer required to mail a ballot, but a postmark on a ballot will not count for the deadline.

Ballots will be delivered between Thursday, April 29 and Monday, May 3. If a ballot has not been received by Wednesday, May 5, please contact Clackamas County Elections at 503-655-8510 or www.clackamas.us/elections.

Ballot drop sites include:

Hoodland Public Library

24525 E Welches Rd

Welches, OR 97067

For a full list of locations, visit the elections website.

By Garth Guibord/MT





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