County school board elections set for next year
A $26 million general bond question is on the Farmington schools ballot that, if approved, will not increase property taxes
FARMINGTON — San Juan County residents will vote next year on nine board of education seats across four school districts and a $26 million bond issue for Farmington.
Board elections for Aztec, Bloomfield, Central Consolidated, and Farmington schools are scheduled for Feb. 7.
There are three board of education seats up for election in the Bloomfield School District, and two seats each for the Aztec Municipal School District, Central Consolidated School District and the Farmington Municipal School District.
The Farmington district also has a $26 million general obligation bond issue on the Feb. 7 ballot that, if approved, would fund an extensive renovation of McCormick Elementary and capital projects at all district schools, according to Randy Bondow, the district's chief financial officer.
The last bond election held by Farmington schools was in February 2014 for $35 million.
The district was pursuing a $22.5 million project to rebuild the McCormick Elementary building, but those plans were dropped when the New Mexico Public School Facilities Authority declined to provide state funding for the project.
“If things would have been different with the funding from the state, which we no longer have, we would have replaced McCormick,” Bondow said.
The current plan for McCormick is to construct 13 new classrooms, a new front office and an entrance with a new parent drop-off area at a cost between $6.92 and $8.11 million. It would help move students out of the nine portable classrooms currently on school grounds.
Most of the projects would focus on improving district schools, including security upgrades, roof repairs, improving heating and conditioning systems, and classroom and elementary school renovations.
If approved, the district’s current tax rate of $9.691 per $1,000 net taxable value of a home would remain the same, Bondow said.
For the board of education elections, the school board candidates would serve a four-year term starting on March 1 if elected.
Some districts have approved the elections, while others are scheduled to vote on the resolutions to hold a school board election this week. The Aztec and Farmington school boards have approved resolutions to hold their elections. The Bloomfield board of education will vote on an election resolution Monday during a special meeting. CCSD board members will vote on their resolution Tuesday night.
For Aztec, the District 1 and 3 positions are up for election. District 1 Representative Mitch Waggoner was appointed to his seat in June 1999 and was voted to his first full term during a Feb. 3, 2001, election. Board Secretary Jimmy Dusenberry is the current District 3 representative, and he was a write-in candidate during the Feb. 5, 2013, election.
In Bloomfield, the representatives in the three seats up for election were voted in during a Feb. 5, 2013, election. Board member Bruce Armenta is the District 2 representative. Vice President Eric Smith is the District 4 representative, and Secretary Veronica Tso is the District 5 representative.
The seats for CCSD Board President Randy Manning and Secretary Christina J. Aspaas are scheduled to be on the ballot. Manning, the District 1 representative, is in his sixth term after being elected to office in 1993. District 2 Representative Aspaas won her seat during the Feb. 5, 2013 election.
For Farmington, the District 2 and 3 representatives are up for contention in February's election.
Board Secretary Robyn Hoffman is the District 2 representative and was voted to her seat during the Feb. 5, 2013, election. District 3 Representative and Deputy Secretary Bill Young is in his second term after winning his seat during the Feb. 3, 2009, election.
Declarations of candidacy must be filed between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. on Tuesday Dec. 20 with the San Juan County Clerk at the county administration building at 100 S. Oliver Drive in Aztec.
Joshua Kellogg covers education for The Daily Times. He can be reached at 505-564-4627 and firstname.lastname@example.org.