Posted on Tue, Oct. 28, 2003 story:PUB_DESC


This district is in the center of the city.

Incumbent Harry Welty has given the school district eight years of service and is running only half-heartedly this time. He says he would serve if elected, but he is not actively campaigning and has "reconciled himself to not being on the board." He's worked tirelessly for the past four years to bring the board around to a two-high-school plan but is worn out. When the principals' plan for two 10th- through 12th-grade high schools failed narrowly Sept. 16 and 22, he decided to join a 7-2 majority in keeping three ninth- through 12th-grade high schools -- realizing that it means closing elementary schools.

Challenger Tom Hustad, a retired dentist, is ready to devote time toschools. He wants to give back to the community. He believes he could step in immediately and have an impact.

The firing of East hockey coach Randolph was a factor for him in entering the race. He believed there was a fairness issue -- but that issue, thankfully, has died, and Hustad has moved on to more important education issues.

He supports a two-high-school system, East and Denfeld, converting Central into a junior high. He believes it's a serious error to commit to extending sixth- through eighth-grade middle schools districtwide -- adding new costs of
$1.1 million when the district is facing a $6.2 million hole in the budget.

In short, Welty and Hustad agree.

The School Board in the past year has put out so many plans that people are confused. That, Hustad believes, results in a lack of trust. The meetings Sept. 16 and 22 didn't help. There was a clear lack of direction. He hopes that will change with a new School Board.

Elect Hustad to the School Board.