REGION – Running for your local school board is one more endeavor that has been altered by the pandemic. For 2021 elections, signed petitions are no longer required to qualify to run for any of the 19 open positions in the three school districts of the Bennington-Rutland Supervisory Union: Mettawee School District, Winhall School District, and the Taconic & Green Regional School District.
“Finding candidates to run for the school board is always a challenge, but Covid makes this an even steeper hill to climb,” says BRSU Chair Jim Salsgiver. “Thankfully, the state of Vermont has created an option designed to expand, not limit, public participation at this time when collecting petition signatures would be difficult.”
A new streamlined procedure has been instituted to minimize possible spread of the virus and encourage prospective candidates to step forward. Multiple signatures from designated towns are not needed. Candidates seeking any office this year must simply complete and submit the Consent of Candidate Form to your Town Clerk Office by 5 p.m. Monday, Jan. 25, 2021. Forms can be picked up at your Town Clerk Office or found online at www.BRSU.org. Select the Elections option found on the Additional Links section of the homepage. This takes you to a screen where you click on Open Positions to find the Consent of Candidate Form.
Each BRSU District has at least two open positions up for election. School Board members are formally called directors. The elected directors hold an organizational meeting following the vote to determine Board Officers, such as Board Chair, Board Clerk, and Board Vice-Chair. The approved T&G Articles of Agreement requires that all residents from its nine communities vote for every director position on the 13-member board. To guarantee balance, nine of the seats are designated to be represented by a resident from a specific community. The remaining four “at-large” seats must be filled from candidates from one of the four largest T&G communities: Danby, Dorset, Londonderry, and Manchester.