Races on for NWC, fire district boards

Posted 8/26/10

In other special districts, such as on the Powell school board, incumbents went unchallenged. In still other places, local ballots will look a little lonely, as several district positions have no candidates.

Five open seats on the Powell Hospital …

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Races on for NWC, fire district boards


Other special districts draw minimal interestThe races are on for seats on the Northwest College and Powell fire district boards.In the general election candidate filing period — which began Aug. 4 and closed Monday, Aug. 23 — three challengers filed to take on two incumbents on the NWC board of trustees and two newcomers each filed for two open slots on the Park County Fire District No. 1 board.

In other special districts, such as on the Powell school board, incumbents went unchallenged. In still other places, local ballots will look a little lonely, as several district positions have no candidates.

Five open seats on the Powell Hospital District board drew just four applicants and an opening for a district supervisor from an urban area on the Powell Clarks Fork Conservation District board also had no takers.

The general election is Tuesday, Nov. 2.

Powell Hospital District

Four people have filed for election to the Powell Hospital District Board of Trustees — with five seats available.

Larry Parker, who was appointed in May to fill the seat left vacant by the death of Kay Carlson, is running unopposed to fill the two years that remained of Carlson's term.

Four, four-year seats also are up for election in November. Filing to fill them were James Beukelman, Renee Humphries and Sharea LinDae MoAn-Renaud.

Beukelman was appointed in January to fill the seat vacated by Ken Rochlitz.

Incumbents Brent Foulger, Laura Birky and Kathy Bieke are not running for re-election to their seats.

During a meeting of the board on Monday, trustees expressed surprise that Gerald “Bear” May and David Northrup, both of whom had applied twice for appointment to the board, did not file for election to the board by Monday's deadline.

“There was some surprise,” said Rod Barton, chief executive officer for Powell Valley Healthcare. “I think there are some who recognize they should encourage someone to run a write-in campaign.”

A similar situation occurred in 2008 when no one from the Meeteetse district filed for election to a seat on the Northwest College Board of Trustees.

Two candidates — Jim Sessions and Larry Todd — ran write-in campaigns, and Sessions won the seat with 45 votes, two more than Todd's 43.

Northwest College

For this year's Northwest College Board of Trustees election, incumbent John Housel was the only person to file for election to his seat in the Cody district.

Five people are vying for two seats from the Powell district. They are incumbents Jim Vogt and Carolyn Danko and challengers Kim Dillivan, Rick LaPlante and Sharea LinDae MoAn-Renaud.

Park County Clerk Kelly Jensen said she knew of no regulations prohibiting an individual — such as MoAn-Renaud — from sitting on both a hospital and college board.

Park County Fire District No. 1

Three four-year spots are up for election at Park County Fire Protection District No. 1, and two directors have decided not to run again.

Incumbent TJ Bell is running unopposed for his Director 1 post, representing municipal Powell.

Board President Dan Laursen, Director 3, representing the area north of Powell, has decided not to seek re-election.

Kyle Nix and firefighter Gerald “Bear” May are shooting for Laursen's spot.

Laursen said board members must maintain a separation. He said if board members are too friendly with firefighters, it could affect their decision-making.

“I think it's important to keep your distance,” Laursen said.

Board Vice President Mark Copenhaver, Director 5, representing Ralston, also decided to call it quits.

“Somebody else said they would (run), and 12 years is enough,” Copenhaver said.

Kelly Spiering and former Powell firefighter Scott Horton are after Copenhaver's post.

Operating a fire district is expensive and good people are needed to insure the right equipment is purchased, Copenhaver said.

Copenhaver said he had no beefs with the fire department or the current board.

“I think sometimes you need new blood,” Copenhaver said.

Both Copenhaver and Laursen have nothing but praise for the firefighters they have represented.

“They're a hardworking... bunch of guys,” Laursen said.

Powell School District

Four school board seats are open in Park County School District No. 1 this year, and, with only four candidates filing to fill them, it appears there will be no contest for the seats in November.

Incumbents Patty Wurzel, Greg Borcher and Dee Heny will be on the ballot, as will newcomer Trace Paul. Current board chairwoman LeAnne Kindred chose not to seek re-election.

Wurzel was has served on the board since February 2006, when she was appointed to fill a seat vacated by the resignation of Jeff Vogt. She was elected to a full term during the 2006 election. Borcher and Heny also were elected in 2006 and will be seeking their second terms.

Kindred originally was elected to the board in 2002 and is completing her second term.

Barring an organized write-in campaign for the board, the four candidates all will take their seats Dec. 1 following the November general election. School board members serve four year terms.

Powell Clarks Fork Conservation District

Regan Smith filed for another term as a rural district supervisor for the Powell Clarks Fork District based conservation district, and fellow incumbent Kenneth Borcher re-filed as an at-large district supervisor for the district.

R. Denny Hall, the current urban district supervisor, did not file for another four-year term on the Powell-based district's board, and the post drew no other candidates during the filing period.

Crown Hill Cemetery District

Clarence Anderson, James Beavers and John Karst filed for re-election to the Crown Hill Cemetery District board.

Special district positions that drew no candidates during the filing period must now be filled by a write-in candidate, or if no candidate emerges there, by appointment.

All of the special district positions are nonpartisan and unpaid.

Editor's note: This story has been corrected to reflect that there are three candidats running for re-election to the Crown Hill Cemetery District Board, not zero. Also, it has been corrected to add Kim Dillivan as an NWC board candidate. It also corrects the spelling of Sharea LinDae MoAn-Renaud.