Everett School Board Candidates Want to Shorten Terms in Office

September 28, 2013

Everett, Everett Government

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The General Election is November 5th.

Editor’s Note: It is the policy of MyEverettNews.com to publish letters from candidates on the ballot in elections involving the city of Everett, WA. MyEverettNews.com does not make political endorsements or take stands on ballot issues. We do accept political advertising. The following letter was received last week from Kim Guymon.

While some politicians do everything they can to hold on to power, two local school board candidates are pledging to limit theirs if they are both elected on November 5.

Everett School Board Candidates, Kim Guymon and Rod Reynolds are running for two different seats on the Board. But, they have joined forces on some key issues that will hopefully change the way the school board has been traditionally run in this district.

One of the issues at the top of their list is limiting the number of years am Everett School Board Director serves. They both want to roll it back from a six-year term to a four-year term. “We are one of just three districts out of nearly three hundred in the state that have a six-year school board term,” says Kim Guymon, candidate for Position 2. “If you were to serve just two terms on the board, you would be on it for nearly the entire public school experience of an Everett student. That’s just too long.”

Rod Reynolds, candidate for Position 1, adds, “Limiting the length of the term makes school directors accountable to the voters more often and that can only be a good thing. If the voters realize they’ve made a mistake when they’ve elected a school director who’s really awful, it’s better that they be stuck with him or her for only four years instead of six.”

Current Everett school director Jessica Olson is also in support of this change and broached the subject at a school board meeting. According to her, current Board President, Jeff Russell maintains that six years is necessary to get well acquainted with the responsibilities of managing the schools.

“That doesn’t make any sense to me,” says Guymon, “why do we need six years when everyone else manages to do the same in four? If the governor can figure out his job in four years, I think we can, too.”

Reynolds puts it more bluntly. “You don’t need six years to perfect the art of rubber-stamping everything the Superintendent puts in front of you. The trouble is, most candidates run for this office on the pretense that they’re ‘qualified’ to be a school director when they’re really not. Glad-handing and schmoozing with all the movers and shakers in town may help someone get elected, but it doesn’t help them do the actual job better.”

“The way one gets qualified to be a school director is to spend at least a couple years studying district policy and learning the ins and outs of how districts are run, and what the board’s roles and responsibilities are. That’s what I’ve been doing,” adds Reynolds.

Changing the policy is simple. It just requires a change of board policy, which can be done by a majority vote of directors. According to Director Olson, she is currently the only director supporting such a change.

Once changed, those currently sitting on the board will have the opportunity to agree to accept the change and only serve four years. Otherwise, they are “grandfathered” in and will serve their full six year term. Guymon and Reynolds both pledge to accept the shorter term even though they will be elected for a 6 year term.

Washington state law does not dictate the length of term for a school board director. It allows local districts to set it at either four or six years. The law only dictates that all board members may not be up for election at the same time and that local school board elections must be held in odd-numbered “off” years.

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My Everett News is a hyperlocal news website featuring breaking news and events in Everett, WA. We also cover City of Everett information and items of interest to those who live and work in Everett. It's written by Leland Dart a former Snohomish County based radio reporter born and raised in Everett.

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