by Amanda Schwarze
People who want to help shape local laws and policies now have a chance to get their names on the 2013 ballot.
Though it is an odd year, there will still be a couple of elections locally. Independence voters will have a chance to select two city councilors, both for four-year terms. Those living in the Orono School District will choose three people to serve four-year terms on the Orono Board of Education.
People who want their names on the Nov. 5 ballot for one of those seats must submit filing paperwork and pay a $2 fee. The filing period begins Tuesday July 30 and runs through 5 p.m. Aug. 13. Paperwork for the Independence City Council seats may be filed at Independence City Hall and paperwork for the Orono Board of Education seats may be filed at the office of the school district clerk, located at 685 Old Crystal Bay Road. Orono School Board candidates must be at least 21 years old.
In Independence, Lynn Betts will finish her third term on the council and Brad Spencer will complete his first term on the council at the end of this year.
Betts said she plans on running for re-election.
“Our city is a wonderful place to live and to raise families,” Betts said. “If our residents want me to continue to represent them, I will continue to do my best to serve them in that capacity.”
Spencer said he would probably run for re-election, but that he was still talking it over with his family.
Martha Van de Ven, Mike Johnson and Bob Tunheim will be completing their terms on the Orono School board at the end of the year. Van de Ven has been on the board for 22 years. Johnson and Tunheim are both finishing their first terms on the board. Van de Ven and Johnson did not respond to questions about whether they are planning to run for re-election by the deadline for this edition of The Pioneer.
Tunheim said he plans to file for re-election.
“It has been a real privilege to serve on the board for the past four years, and I would greatly appreciate the opportunity to spend the next four years doing what I can to support what I think are the crown jewels of our community – our schools,” Tunheim said. “Of course, the credit for our nationally renowned schools goes to our exceptional administrators and teachers, as well as supportive and involved parents, but I would like to think the board has had a strong hand in our schools’ successes.”
Contact Amanda Schwarze at firstname.lastname@example.org