Election 2013: Voters shake up Nampa School Board

The three winners say more painful cuts lie ahead for the financially struggling district.

broberts@idahostatesman.comMay 22, 2013 

  • Nampa trustees (final results)

    ZONE 3

    Bob Otten, 54%

    Clayton Trehal, 46%

    ZONE 4

    Brian McGourty, 54%

    Kimiko (Kim) Rost, 28%

    Cate Tedeski, 18%

    ZONE 5

    Mike Fuller, 74%

    Dale Wheeler, 26%

Voters elected three trustees to the Nampa School Board on Tuesday — and none of the new members offered pleasant news.

It is unlikely that Nampa School District can fix its financial mess without cutting more teachers or furloughing them, they said.

“I suppose that is going to have to happen,” said Bob Otten, the only incumbent up for election who voters returned to the board.

A week ago, Otten blocked a plan to cut 18 elementary music and physical education instructor and counselor positions and urged the district to find other ways to solve its $8 million budget problem. The board did approve eliminating 27 teaching positions, through attrition.

On Tuesday, voters also elected Brian McGourty, a former board member sharply critical of how trustees handled the district’sfinancial mess. Voters also ousted 12-year trustee Dale Wheeler and replaced him with Mike Fuller.

Fuller, an instructor at a Mormon seminary, said he “would work with the district to make the painful cuts as soon as possible so we can (get) the focus back on learning.”

McGourty, who has complained the school board has been reluctant to make tough decisions, said he believes the district can turn in a balanced budget by mid-July. “I think we are all tired to talking about budgets and deficits,” he said.

The district revealed more tough financial news Tuesday. Its busing contract could rise by $80,000 next year and it faces increases in electric and sewer rates.

McGourty beat two candidates in a seat left open when Scott Kido, board chairman, decided not to run.

Once the board balances the budget, it needs to make certain it is getting the best, most up-to-date information on finances so the district lives within its means, Otten said.

Bill Roberts: 377-6408

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