Alma School Board elections will be held in May beginning in 2018.
Alma board members chose Thursday night to set future board elections in May in an effort to abide by recent state law that requires school board elections to be set when general or primary elections are held, November and May respectively.
Debate about which date would work better for the school district centered around the cost of holding the election in either month and whether the board election would be “lost” among other elections taking place at those times.
Board member Carrie Jernigan said she favored the May election date.
“I am concerned about it being a little more cost to hold the election in May, but I believe that is significantly outweighed by not getting lost on the ballot in November,” Jernigan said.
It will cost the board more to hold the election in May compared to November because various elections - presidential, mid-term and municipal - are held every year in November, while primary elections are only held every other year.
Alma School District can split the cost of the election with other entities when they share the ballot, but must pay the full cost in years when they are alone in holding an election. School districts currently pay the full cost of board elections.
Superintendent David Woolly responded to Jernigan’s concerns.
“Carrie, it is true what you said about the cost being more in May, but either way is significantly less than what we’re paying now,” Woolly said.
Board members voted unanimously to hold future elections in May.
Also during the Thursday meeting, board officers were elected and the board reorganized.
Mike Higgins was re-elected as president, Paul Winborn, who was serving as secretary, was elected as vice president and Ronnie Newton was elected as secretary.
Ron Haught nominated Higgins for re-election, and Chapen Rucker, who was serving as vice president, nominated himself for president. The board voted 5-1 in favor of Higgins, with Higgins choosing to not vote.
Winborn was nominated by Newton for vice president, and Chapen Rucker nominated himself for reelection. The board voted 5-1 in favor of Winborn, with Winborn choosing to not vote.
Newton was nominated by Pat Whorton for secretary. The board voted unanimously in favor of Newton.
Board members also adopted board policies and the students handbook, with only a few minor changes. Jernigan was chosen as the board representative for the Arkansas School Board Association conference in December.