PROSSER -- The desire of Larry Loges and Bill Jenkin to change the Prosser School District has led both to challenge incumbent Timothy Rankin for a school board seat.
All three will face off in the Aug. 16 primary. The top two advance to the Nov. 8 general election in their bid for an unpaid position.
Rankin was appointed in 2007 and elected in 2009 to finish the four-year term. The orthopedic surgeon resigned briefly from the school board in 2009 because he wasn't registered to vote when he took his oath of office. He re-applied and was re-appointed.
Loges, a retired farmer, has lived in Prosser for 30 years. He is known for battling the city of Prosser regarding public records.
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Jenkin, a financial adviser for the Edward Jones branch in Prosser and owner of Prosser Vineyard and Winery, helped open the Prosser Boys & Girls Club last year.
Rankin, 46, a Prosser resident for 61/2 years, said he seeks re-election because he wants to ensure that the district educates children well while spending responsibly.
Rankin and his wife, Pam, have three daughters.
Rankin said the district needs to address overcrowding at the high school. But before asking voters to pass another bond, the district should re-evaluate needs and resources.
A bond for a new high school twice failed to get the needed 60 percent approval from voters this year. The first proposal asked for $41 million. The second proposal, which failed in April, was for $39 million.
"Remaining open-minded and practical will allow us to arrive at a plan that the citizens we represent can support," Rankin said.
Loges and Jenkin said they believe the school district needs to take another look at its proposed high school before asking voters to pass a bond.
"We don't need a Taj Mahal," Loges said.
The use of computers and the internet in the classroom must be considered when planning the school, he said.
Jenkin, 55, said he agrees a new high school is needed, but he believes that the district needs to diligently look at the cost of the project to reach a reasonable price the community would endorse.
Loges, 63, said he decided to run for public office because it would provide him the ability make changes, ask serious questions and get answers.
The father of six said he believes the district must alter some priorities and allow all students with college aspirations to receive help from a counselor. Loges said his daughter who attended Prosser High School did not receive that support.
Jenkin, a five-year Prosser resident, said he decided to run because of some of the needs he has seen as founding chairman for the Prosser Boys & Girls Club.
The school district should focus on promoting values including citizenship, respect and personal responsibility, he said. Those are values he's seen the Boys & Girls Club help bring to Prosser children.
Jenkin said he possesses skills to make him a strong leader on the school board. He is assistant governor for the Rotary district in Prosser, serves on the Prosser Chamber of Commerce board and is vice president of the Historic Downtown Prosser Association.
Jenkin said he wants to see stable funding, with tax dollars going directly to the classrooms.
The district must focus on preparing students for college or a trade, including vocational training and computer skills, Jenkin said.
Jenkin and his wife, Lisa Mahoney, have one daughter.
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