Waverly school board short 1 candidate in election

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Voters will be asked in November to elect four candidates to the Waverly Community Schools Board of Education, but only three candidates will appear on the ballot. 

It’s possible a district resident could launch a write-in campaign, said Eaton County Clerk Diana Bosworth, who has served as clerk since January 2013. A write-in candidate would have to file to run for the seat by 4 p.m. Oct. 26. Otherwise, any votes the candidate receives can’t be counted, she said.  

A write-in candidate would need just one vote to win as long as there wasn’t any competition, Delta Township Clerk Mary Clark said. If there are multiple write-in candidates, the candidate with more votes would win.

“I think this far out, there could be a write-in campaign,” Clark said.

If there is no write-in candidate, then the school board would appoint someone to serve the four-year position.

The board would have 30 days under state law to appoint someone to the seat, said Waverly school board President Britton Slocum, who has held every officer position since he joined the board more than 17 years ago.

Slocum said the board has had to fill empty seats caused by members moving out of the district, retiring or having a new job or work change that won’t allow them to be on the board any more.

But he said the board has not had to appoint someone to fill an open seat because there no candidates ran for office. It has happened elsewhere, though. 

“These situations occur frequently all over Michigan and in states with similar board setups,” Slocum said. “Sometimes it’s a lack of public interest, sometimes things are going well and people give it no thought.”

Slocum said he thinks it is the latter.

“At this time, things are going very well at Waverly Community Schools,” Slocum said.

The three candidates who are listed to run for the school board include two newcomers and one returner. Mary Ann Martin is serving on the Waverly school board as the secretary. Martin was first elected to the board in 2002. She has also held the offices of treasurer and vice secretary-treasurer.

The two new candidates are Chris Beasley and Rhonda Sosnowski.

“Being a board member can be challenging, even distressing at times, but 98 percent of the time it’s very fun and rewarding,” Slocum said. “It really gets the creative, problem-solving, juices flowing. It’s the last bastion of truly pure, honest governance left in my opinion. I’m going to miss it tremendously.”