GREENE: Congressional Districts confuse Carrollton School Board voters
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By Carmen Ensinger
At the last Carrollton School Board, there weren’t enough candidates to even fill the open seats. At this election on April 4, however, there are a total of seven candidates vying for one two-year unexpired term and three four-year terms.
There are two candidates vying for the two-year term and five candidates vying for the four-year terms. For the two-year term, Keith Alan Graham is going up against Amber Flowers. For the four-year terms there are: Kari Manker, Jeffrey C. Krumwiede, Aaron Mehrhoff, Robert “Scott” Bryant and Rodney Reif. Reif is the only incumbent. Board members Vicki Schnelten, Aaron Cook and John Schild did not seek another term.
Here is where it gets confusing, since the consolidation took place, Carrollton was broken up into Congressional Townships. A Congressional Township is a six-by-six square mile area.
Former Greene County Clerk Debbie Banghart said it is hard to explain.
“The only place to see the Congressional Township Districts is in a plat book,” she said. “An example would be Berdan. It is in Carrollton Township, but it is a different Congressional Township than the city of Carrollton. It is very confusing.”
To simplify things a bit, anyone living in Carrollton would be considered in one Congressional Township while someone from the outlying areas, such as Berdan or Eldred would be considered in a different Congressional District.
The two-year unexpired term will be seated first and the rest of the election will depend on who is seated in that position since Flowers and Graham are in different Congressional Districts.
No more than three Carrollton residents can be on the board at the same time. Denny Cook, from Carrollton, is already on the board, which means that no more than two more residents can be elected from Carrollton.
Candidates from Carrollton include: Graham, Krumwiede, Manker and Mehrhoff. The others: Flowers, Bryant and Reif, reside outside of Carrollton.
Here is where it gets tricky for the voters. If Graham is elected to the two-year position, that leaves only one spot open for a Carrollton candidate for the four-year term. It also means that, by default, both Bryant and Reif are automatically seated, regardless of their vote count because there can be no more than three Carrollton candidates on the board at one time. Whoever between Krumwiede, Manker and Mehrhoff has the most votes will be seated along with Reif and Bryant.
On the other hand, if Flowers is seated to the two-year position, that will leave two-spots open for Carrollton candidates. The two top vote getters between Krumwiede, Manker and Mehrhoff would be seated and the top vote getter between Reif and Bryant would be seated for the third seat.
North Greene and Greenfield school districts aren’t quite as complicated. The congressional line in Greenfield runs through the city so they can have six members who all live in the city. North Greene runs “at large” so their six members can be from anywhere in the district.