Election day delivers a diverse ballot
A local issue joins a ballot of candidates and other issues on Tuesday.
Voters who reside in the Baldwin school district will be asked if they want to elect members from the current voting districts with two members from Baldwin City, Marion Springs and Vinland, and one at-large member or change to an all at-large method of election.
The issue was placed on the ballot after a group of citizens circulated a petition. The group sought a change based on the population of the districts. Betty Bullock, a petition organizer, said figures from the U.S. Census Bureau show that Baldwin City has nearly 50 percent of the school district's population and Marion Springs and Vinland each about 25 percent. She said the unequal population creates unequal representation, which can be solved with an at-large method of election. She said an at-large board also would allow voters to choose from all the candidates, not just those residing in a voter's district.
Those who favor keeping the board as it is have said electing board members from Marion Springs and Vinland allows those areas to keep a voice on the board. It is a voice those areas were promised when Marion Springs and Vinland elementary schools were unified into a district with schools in Baldwin City in 1965.
Also on Tuesday's ballot are area races, including: Dan Gregg, Eudora, and Bob Johnson, Baldwin City, running for the 2nd District seat on the Douglas County Commission, an area that includes Palmyra Township; Larry Kipp and Jere McElhaney, both of Lawrence, running for the 3rd District seat on the Douglas County Commission, an area that includes Marion and Willow Springs townships; Ron Wilson, Vinland, and Rick Trapp, Lawrence, for Douglas County Sheriff; Diane Kennedy and Pat Wells for Douglas County Treasurer; and A.J. Barrett and Martin Thomas, both of Baldwin City, for Palmyra Township Trustee.
The USD 348 question will read:
The method of electing school board members of Baldwin City Unified School District 348 shall be changed from electing school board members from 3 separate districts to election of all school board members from the district at-large.
"Shall the following be adopted?"
"Shall a change in the method of election or voting plan or both, as described in the ballot title above, be approved?
To vote in favor of the question submitted upon this ballot, darken the oval to the left of the word "Yes."
To vote against it, darken the oval to the left of the word "No."
Running unopposed are: Christine Kenney Tonkovich, district attorney; Patty Jaimes, county clerk; Sue Neustifter, register of deeds; and John Vesecky, Palmyra Township Treasurer.
Profiles on some of the candidates can be found on page ?