Filing deadline passes with no candidates for one Baldwin school board post
The deadline for candidates to get their names on the April 2 ballots for Baldwin City Council and school board passed this week. But there’s one big hole.
No school board candidates filed for the District 2, Position 6 seat Ande Parks holds. The development creates the possibility that a write-in candidate could earn a four-year term on the board. To qualify, a candidate must live within boundaries that include most of the district east of Douglas County 1055 and north of U.S. Highway 56, but Signal Ridge subdivision or the neighborhoods south of the high school/junior high campus.
Two other school board races will be uncontested on the ballot. Nicole Tiller was the only person filling for the District 2, Position 5 seat that Bill Busby now fills, and Sheryl Gill will not face opposition on the ballot in her bid to fill out the remaining two years of the district’s at-large position. She was appointed to the position last June.
The one school board decision before voters on the ballot will be for District 1, Position 4. Toby Ebel and Gregory Kruger will vie for that seat, which Ruth Barkley currently holds.
Neither of the two Baldwin City Council members whose four-year terms expire this year opted to seek re-election. Councilman Tom Farmer has chosen not run, and Councilwoman Bonnie Plumberg decided to run for mayor when Mayor Ken Wagner announced earlier this month he wouldn’t seek re-election.
The list of candidates running for mayor remains unchanged from last week. Candidates are Plumberg, current Councilman Jason Mock and Marilyn Pearse, who served on the council from 1989 to 2003.
Candidates for the two open council positions are Christie Darnell, Katheryn Gerstner and Michael Paulick.
Paulick said he moved two years ago to Baldwin City, which was the childhood home of his wife, Tiffany (Constantinescu). The couple has two children. He works at the parts counter of Heritage Tractor, but said the owner of that business, Mayor Ken Wagner, had no involvement in his decision to run for council
“I like politics and being involved in the city,” he said. “It’s a good opportunity to get involved with Baldwin and maybe offer some views and insights that haven’t been seen in the past.”
Darnell, a master’s level social worker and mother of two who has been an at-home mom for the past seven years, said her experience as a volunteer with Baker University, the school district, Baldwin First United Methodist Church, the Baldwin City Recreation Commission and the Black Jack Battlefield would help her build closer relationships between the city and those groups.
Darnell said she also wanted to make the city a more affordable place to live.
“I would pass the lower water rates the city council just negotiated with the city of Lawrence on to the people and explore all options to lower the city’s electrical rates,” she said.
The deadline to register to vote in the spring election in March 12.