BY MELANIE BUCK –
Filing dates for school board candidates are now open, says Polk County Clerk Terri Harrison. Monday, June 12, marked the first official day that candidates can begin circulating petitions to be considered.
To be an official candidate on the ticket, you must have the Affidavit and Petition with at least 20 signatures from your respective school district and zone. It is advised to gain at least five more in the case that some signatures are disqualified. The petitions cannot be filed until July 5, 2017. The deadline to file as an official candidate for a school board is July 11, 2017, at 12 noon. Also due at the time of filing are: Political Practices Pledge, Affidavit of Eligibility, and Notice of Candidacy.
Other documents are due as well, although not by the filing date. The Statement of Financial Interest is due September 12, 2017, unless you are an incumbent office holder, which filed their statements in January. If a candidate receives contributions or made expenditures in excess of $500, the Campaign Contribution and Expenditure Report is due seven days prior to the election. A final report is due by October 31, 2017, regardless of whether you received contributions or made expenditures in excess of $500.
Polk County has three public school districts: Cossatot River, Mena, and Ouachita River. To be eligible to serve on the respective board, qualified candidates must reside within the district’s designated area.
Members serving on Cossatot River and Ouachita River are elected to serve five year terms; whereas, Mena’s terms are three years. Terms for Todd Aynes and Robby Hines are expiring on the Mena School Board. There are four terms expiring on the Ouachita River Board, they are: Jason Neugent, Lana Philpot, Robby Strother, and Gene Monk. The terms expiring on Cossatot River are for Mark Duggan and Brian Rusty Youngblood.
The 2017 School Board Elections will be held on September 19. Early voting will begin September 12. For more information, or to pick up filing forms, contact County Clerk Terri Harrison at 479-394-8123.