School board examines, approves election returnsGuymon says he still wants recount.
By: Ross Dolan, The Daily Republic
The Mitchell Board of Education made it official Monday, Neil Putnam and Theresa Kriese are the winners of the June 5 school board election — unless a Circuit Court judge says otherwise.
Third-place candidate Craig Guymon, who filed a June 15 challenge contesting the results of the June 5 school board election, does not expect the election results to change, but he wants a recount all the same.
Guymon distrusts the accuracy of the Davison County’s ballot scanner, which produced two different counts on June 5 and June 7. A county Canvassing Board certified the second count. He has asked for a new election or a hand recount to check the machine’s accuracy. No hearing date has been set by the court.
Putnam and Kriese, who have been named as defendants in Guymon’s civil suit, declined any comment Monday, and neither Guymon nor fourth-place finisher Ed Potzler was present at the meeting.
Superintendent Joe Graves has said that the school district will abide by any court decision on the matter.
Davison County Auditor Susan Kiepke and Hanson County Auditor Lesa Trabing presented the school board with poll books from their respective counties and board members Brenda Freidel, Dana Price and Eric Christensen officially canvassed the results of the election.
Afterwards, the trio unanimously passed a resolution declaring Putnam and Kriese elected to new three-year terms of office.
Putnam and Kriese, as board members-elect, had removed themselves from the proceedings and did not handle the poll books.
The official ballot totals, by county, were: Neil Putnam 2,994 votes (2,966 Davison/ 28 Hanson); and Theresa Kriese, 2,873 votes (2,847 Davison/ 26 Hanson); Craig Guymon 852 votes (839 votes Davison/13 votes Hanson); J. Edward Potzler 780 votes (768 Davison/ 12 Hanson).
Both candidates will be sworn in during the district’s annual meeting which the board set for Monday, July 23.
In other business, the board:
• Approved a bid of $50,777.10 from School Specialty, of Mansfield, Ohio, for carpet for Gertie Belle Rogers Elementary School; the Mitchell High School auditorium; and the new Mitchell Career and Technical Education Academy.
Graves, who was in Washington, D.C., and participated in Monday’s meeting telephonically, said there was only one bidder for the job. The carpet that was selected was chosen for its durability and water resistance. Graves said the carpet has proven a good investment in other district schools.
“We’ve been a little behind in replacing the carpet in some schools,” he said. “This will catch us up.”
• Approved a supplemental budget request for $145,000 from Mitchell Technical Institute. The extra will be covered by an increase in state aid.
• Approved, on second reading, a review of board policies on fiscal management, support services and facilities development.
• Approved, on second reading, a new board policy on Internet safety.
• Approved, on second reading, revisions to board policy on community use of K-12 facilities.
• Approved with minor language revisions, a resolution relating to the sale of $500,000 in Qualified Zone Academy Bonds.
• Approved the following personnel items:
New hires: Teresa Bannwarth, school nurse, Mitchell High School and L. B. Williams Elementary school, 5.5 hours daily at $17 an hour, effective in August; Joseph Brtna, ag mechanic/instructor, MTI, $45,000 a year, effective Aug. 1; Leah Christensen, senior meals cook, Mitchell Middle School, eight hours a day at $10.58 an hour, effective July 2; Connie Kerns-Grams, online business instructor, MTI, $35,000 a year, effective Aug.1 ; Janelle Guericke, agriculture business instructor, MTI, $45,000 a year effective Aug. 1; Kempton Olney, propane/natural gas instructor, MTI, $42,000 a year, effective Aug. 1.
New hires (extra-curricular): Jordyn Heath, assistant middle school volleyball coach, $1,424, effective for the 2012-2013 school year.
Resignation: Erica Kenworthy, MTI coordinator of student accounts, effective July 6.