Othello proposition could change voting for board

By Ty Beaver, Tri-City HeraldOctober 29, 2013 

The Othello School District is asking voters to change how the Othello School Board is elected, potentially making any future vacancies easier to fill.

The district elects all five of its members by residential area. A ballot proposition for the Nov. 5 general election would change the format to four members elected by residential area with the fifth seat being at-large.

Two people have resigned from Position 3 on the board during the last few years, and each time it was difficult to find people living in that area willing to serve, said Superintendent George Juarez.

The district recently exceeded the 90-day timeframe to appoint a member after a vacancy and the matter has now been turned over to regional education officials.

Juarez said he couldn't explain why it was so difficult to find people within that area to serve on the board, especially since there wasn't a shortage of district residents interested in the position.

"There were other people who were interested in serving but they didn't live in that area," Juarez told the Herald.

The proposed new board format would make it easier for people interested in serving on the board to go for a seat without necessarily having to challenge a long-term incumbent in their area. Similarly, it will provide a larger pool from which to draw candidates for each residential seat.

The proposition requires more than 50 percent approval to pass.

w For more election stories, go to tricityherald.com/election.

w Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; tbeaver@tricityherald.com; Twitter: @_tybeaver

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