Guest Column: District 205 excuses wrong petition debacle

The wrong petitions were included in the packet that District 205 distributed to school board candidates. School board candidates should have filed form SBE No. P-7A, not the at-large forms SBE No. P-7. I filed the correct forms, but my opponents did not.

While I was not surprised that Mark Thompson, a relative newcomer to the area, filed the wrong forms, I was amazed that School Board President Nancy Kalchbrenner also filed incorrectly because Kalchbrenner has filed three other times for the District D seat. This is the second election in a row that the school district attorney hired by Kalchbrenner has handed out the wrong forms. When Judy Picus and Ted Biondo were the Sub-district D representatives, the district handed out the correct forms.

On Monday, Jan. 24, 2005, I requested the superintendent’s office for a copy of Mark Thompson’s petitions. I was denied my request and told that I could view petitions in the office. On Friday, Jan. 28, Stephanie Caltagerone of WNTA (1330 AM) was called by the superintendent’s office and told that she could pick up everyone’s petitions.

Tomorrow [Jan. 26], I will request a copy of both of my opponents’ petitions from the school district’s attorney. I am quite surprised that for the first time, the school district attorney was not personally handing the election forms. I will also ask the school district attorney why the superintendent’s office was instructed to not distribute copies, but now has revised its position. It is certainly not appropriate to deny me, as a Sub-district D voter and candidate, the opportunity to ensure that my opponents’ petitions contain at least 50 registered voters. The responsibility to ensure that the correct forms and instructions are followed rests with the school district attorney. This individual recently received a $30,000 raise, which was approved by Kalchbrenner, yet his ability to correctly execute this aspect of his duties is not what it should be.

Barb Dent is a school board candidate for Sub-District D.

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