Seven seek four school board seats

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Seven candidates are seeking election to the District 777 Board of Education Nov. 8. There are only four seats open on the seven-member board. The four school board candidates who get the most votes will begin their terms in January.

The seven candidates are incumbents Gary Williams, Alan Pagel, Andy Abner, and Bill McGeary along with challengers Mary K.W. Langan, Larry Smith and Dave Nagler.

Benson’s schools face critical funding decisions in the coming years that will affect the number and variety of classes students will have available. District voters are also likely to make decisions on levy referendums that have an impact on the quality of the facilities in which students will be attending class.  

This past May District 777 voters resoundingly defeated an $18.7 million bond building bond levy that would have seen an extensive building and renovation project take place in the district. Since then, the school board has been working with a large group district residents to study what building and classroom needs the district faces and how best to present those needs to the community.

Those working on the next spending and levy proposals for the school district have to be aware that the rural economy has seen a downturn due to a steep fall in commodity prices. That downturn was one of the key reasons for the defeated of the 2015 building referendum.

Another issue the board will face is the possible building of new classrooms at the Northside Elementary to provide early childhood education space for three and four-year-olds.

The Monitor-News contacted the seven candidates for the school board and asked them to respond to a series of questions about the stands on keys issues that will face the school board. To read their answers, pick up a copy of this week's Swift County Monitor-News at our office, or any of the following locations:

In Benson: Breens Pharmacy, Lewis Drug, DoMat’s, Glacial Plains, Runnings, Shell, SuperValu, Holiday, & Benson Bakery.

In Kerkhoven: Lamecker’s General Store & Super America.

In Murdock: Dooley’s.

In DeGraff: Country Pet.

In Appleton: Ascheman Uni-mart.

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