Nampa School District voters go to the polls Tuesday to decide who will hold the majority of the school board's five seats as the district wades through budgetary difficulties and a change of leadership.
A $2.3 million deficit trustees learned of last summer mushroomed to $5.1 million this year. Moreover, the district needs to knock $3 million out of its spending plan to avoid going deeper in the hole with next year's budget.
Superintendent Tom Michaelson was hired seven months ago to fix the budget problems led the district through several budget cuts and a vote by district taxpayers in March to come up with $4.3 million to ease the schools' red ink.
But problems have kept coming. The latest: Between 2004 and 2008, district administrators spent money on school operations that should have gone to a district bond fund. Now the district must pay it back with part of a $6.3 million loan it's taking out for cash flow.
If money problems weren't enough, some trustees began to soften their support for Michaelson. So Michaelson resigned, effective at the end of this month, and the board appointed Nampa High School Principal Pete Koehler as interim superintendent.
Michaelson's departure angered some trustee candidates, such as Brian McGourty, who thought the board wasn't making tough decisions. Bob Otten, an incumbent facing re-election, did not support Michaelson.
Voters will elect trustees from three zones:
Bob Otten, retired Nampa Schools educator, incumbent.
Clayton Trehal, a teacher at Idaho Connects Online School based in Boise.
Brian McGourty, former trustee; owner, Eyecare Associates of Nampa
Kimiko Rost, structural engineer
Cate Tedeski, small business owner
Dale Wheeler, retired from Union Pacific Railroad, incumbent
Mike Fuller, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints seminary instructor.
Bill Roberts: 377-6408, Twitter: @IDS_BillRoberts