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Only two have filed so far for three vacant BOE seats

June 29, 2010|By JULIE E. GREENE

HAGERSTOWN -- With the candidate filing deadline a week away, only two people had filed as of Tuesday to run for three vacancies on the Washington County Board of Education, according to the Washington County Board of Elections.

That's unusual, said Kaye Robucci, acting director for the Board of Elections.

"It's just been kind of slow," with only 31 people filing for any office in the county as of Tuesday, Robucci said.

Paul W. Bailey of Hagerstown filed Tuesday afternoon to keep his seat on the school board. The other candidate is Dottie Gruhler, who lives north of Smithsburg.

Three school board seats are up for election -- those of Bailey, Ruth Anne Callaham and William Staley, according to an e-mail from Washington County Public Schools spokesman Richard Wright.

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Callaham has filed to run for Washington County Commissioner.

Staley said late Tuesday afternoon he will not file to retain his seat.

"I'm getting older, for one thing, and I've had health problems throughout the four years," he said. Staley said he also is caring for his parents and in-laws.

The deadline to file as a candidate is July 6, Robucci said. The office will be open until 9 p.m. that day. The office will be closed Monday.

Bailey said he was surprised he was only the second person to have filed for school board so close to the deadline.

"I've seen numerous candidates on occasion and, one election I was involved in, there were only three candidates for three positions," Bailey said.

That was in 2002, when only three people filed for three school board openings, Robucci said.

In 2000, there was no primary for school board because only eight people filed for four seats, she said.

For the nonpartisan school board race to have a primary in September, seven people need to file, Robucci said.

"So, we hope that more people come into file so we have a primary," Robucci said.

School board terms are four years, Wright said.

School board members make $5,500 annually with the board's president making $5,600, Wright said.

The seven board members do not have individual budgets for travel and supplies. The entire board's budget for travel for the upcoming fiscal year is $5,500 compared with $10,500 during the current fiscal year, Wright said. The board's supplies budget will be $2,500 compared with $5,500 this fiscal year.

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