Archive for Thursday, April 12, 2001

Election marks second time around for Clark

April 12, 2001

Turnabout is fair play for new Eudora School Board member Brenda Clark.

Clark defeated School Board President Marion Johnson in the general election on April 3. Clark received 417 votes for 17 percent, nudging out Johnson who received 16 percent with 375 votes.

In 1999, Clark was on the other end of a similar situation. After serving her first four-year term on the board, she lost her re-election bid by two votes.

Clark attributes her efforts to get her name in front of the people for her success this time around.

"(In 1999) I didn't do the extensive advertising and door-to-door like I did this time," she said. "I think with all the new people in town, we almost have to do that."

Johnson was understanding of the voters' decision and wished Clark well.

"That's just the way it goes," he said. "I think Brenda will be a fine board member."

Clark is entering the board during a critical time, when it is considering options for a new school, with a bond issue to be presented to the voters in the fall. Though she has kept up some with the issues, Clark said she would have to do some backtracking and familiarize herself with some of the issues.

"There'll be some catching up to do, but I'm sure it won't take too long," she said. "The next couple of years for sure are going to be real crucial but I'm happy to serve."

Though Clark beat an incumbent, she wasn't the top finisher in the race. That honor went to incumbent Carlie Abel, taking in 553 votes for 23 percent. Abel said he used the same style of advertising for the general election as he did in the primary none.

"I didn't spend a dime," he said.

Abel has maintained that he doesn't support the proposal to build a new school to cope with Eudora's growth. He said Eudora High was sold to the public in the last bond issue on the grounds it would be added on to as enrollment increased. Abel said he woul not support an effort to build a new school.

"I'm not going to help them sell it, but I'm not going to fight," he said. "I'm not selling anything. I hate to sound that way, but I think sometimes the people have to be accountable."

Abel said he supported the idea of upgrading the Eudora Middle School building for continued use in the district.

"I hate to throw away a perfectly good school," he said.

Abel said he was thankful for the support he received in the election.

"I was kind of surprised," he said. "Sometimes you never know how it's going to play out."

Incumbent Bob Rice also retained his position on the board. With 431 votes, Rice captured 18 percent of the votes.

"I just thank the people that supported me," he said.

Unlike Abel, Rice supports the proposal for a new school and is gearing up for more months of working on the bond issue.

"That's the pressing thing," he said. "Because it's going to sneak up on us."

Others who didn't make the final cut were newcomer Tracy Bowling, who captured 13 percent with his 314 votes. Newcomer and former district employee Jim Harris received 295 votes for 12 percent.

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