Last week’s local elections were proof that every vote counts, even for candidates whose names didn’t even appear on the ballot.
Issues like the elimination of the police department in Albion and a new stadium in Wattsburg drove voters to the polls on Election Day.
Starr Bodi spoke to the new Wattsburg School Board members and reports with more on the write-ins.
The two candidates expressed their excitement and shock from the outpour of community support.
Two new members will now hold seats on the Wattsburg School Board. It began with a group of parents asking Steven O’Donnell, a Wattsburg parent, to run for the school board.
“I felt that it was a long shot until I saw the volunteers organize it. The community really wanted to see a change. It was something I was happy to be a write in candidate for,” said Steven O’Donnell, write-in candidate.
The excitement comes after losing his first write-in candidacy during the primary elections.
The write-in candidates were motivated in part by the school boards decision to approve a $3 million sports complex, an expense some taxpayers feel is unaffordable and others don’t like how it happened.
“Many of them actually said they were fine with the football field. It was more about how it was communicated to community members. They felt that they were not being listened to. It really was a perception thing,” said O’Donnell.
O’Donnell will also take a seat with Tara Pound, the other newly elected write-in. She has a child in the Wattsburg School District.
Both newly elected school board members say they look to ensure the success of the school district and its students.
Tara Pound said in a statement:
“My goal as a school board member and representative of our community is to have open communication and collaboration with the rest of the school board members so we can uphold our promise to the community.”Statement by Tara Pound
Both Pound and O’Donnell look to prioritize in communicating with parents openly and honestly.
Wattsburg Superintendent Ken Berlin said in a statement:
Having fresh perspectives and voices on the board is very positive and important to ensure that the boards work puts the students needs first and also reflects our community’s interests as a whole.”Statement by Wattsburgh Superintendent Ken Berlin
Pound and O’Donnell will take their seats on the school board on December 2nd with three other school board members.