Nov. 3 election canceled for J.O. Combs Unified School District, other boards

Allowed by state law when number of candidates equals or is less than the open positions

By Richard Dyer
Twitter: @RHDyer
Posted 9/15/20

Canceling the Nov. 3 elections for various school and special taxing districts where the number of candidates equals or is fewer than the number of positions --- including the Superstition Fire and …

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Nov. 3 election canceled for J.O. Combs Unified School District, other boards

Allowed by state law when number of candidates equals or is less than the open positions

Posted

Canceling the Nov. 3 elections for various school and special taxing districts where the number of candidates equals or is fewer than the number of positions --- including the J.O. Combs Unified School District, Superstition Fire and Medical District and the Central Arizona Water Conservation District --- and appointing all was approved recently by the Pinal County Board of Supervisors.

The board voted 4-0 on Sept. 9 to approve a resolution, with Supervisor Stephen Q. Miller, District 3, recusing himself due to a potential conflict of interest. Supervisor Miller was the sole candidate for a six-year term for the Central Arizona Water Conservation District, which operates the Central Arizona Project, a 336-mile system that brings Colorado River water to central and southern Arizona.

State law allows the supervisors to cancel certain elections for school and special taxing districts, Pinal County Elections Director Michele Forney said to the board of supervisors.

“Under Arizona Revised Statutes Section 16-410 (A), which permits the board to cancel elections where the number of candidates equals the number of open positions or there’s fewer numbers of candidates,” she said. “This is a cost savings so the school districts and special taxing districts to allow them not to have the elections since they are uncontested.”

J.O. Combs Unified School District students of the month. Also pictured are Superintendent Dr. Greg Wyman, members of the Governing Board and Banner Ironwood Medical Center Spiritual Care Services Senior Manager Kelvin Thompson.
J.O. Combs Unified School District students of the month. Also pictured are Superintendent Dr. Greg Wyman, members of the Governing Board and Banner …

The decision by the supervisors allows all candidates vying for four available positions for J.O. Combs USD No. 44 Governing Board to be appointed.

“The J.O. Combs USD No. 44 is fortunate to currently have an outstanding Governing Board, as well as a highly qualified, dedicated and effective superintendent and leadership team,” incumbent Bob D’Elena, appointed to a four-year term, said. “It has been an honor and a privilege to serve this community as a Governing Board member. I would like to continue to work with them as together we build a school district of which we can all be proud.”

Incumbent Shelly Hargis, also appointed to a four-year term, recalled how she helped create a vision for the district.

“Since I have been on the Governing Board, I have had the privilege of working with our administration, staff and community to create a vision for our district. This vision of creating a community of empowered learners for the 21st century continues to shine through the creation of maximum academic and social growth for all students,” she said. “We utilize research-based practices and strategies delivered by highly competent employees who are committed to excellence in an atmosphere of mutual respect and trust,” Ms. Hargis said.

“It has been an honor to serve with my fellow board members who are dedicated to our students and continue to focus on what is best for kids. I am privileged to be able to continue to serve on the Governing Board. It will be my mission to overcome recent challenges within our community to come together and continue to support our students,” she said.

Growth and change are in the J.O. Combs Unified School District’s future, incumbent Chad McLeod, appointed to a four-year term, said.

“I know that the last several months have posed several new challenges for our community, particularly as it relates to education. However I am optimistic and hopeful that despite these challenges, we will continue to build and nurture strong relationships that ultimately put our children first,” he said. “I feel honored to have the opportunity to continue to serve this district and community during these times of growth and change, and regardless of what’s to come, will remain committed to fulfilling the District’s vision of providing the best education for each child every day.”

The Superstition Fire and Medical District provides fire suppression, fire prevention, wildland protection, advanced life support, rescue, extrication and medical transportation services out of five fire stations.
The Superstition Fire and Medical District provides fire suppression, fire prevention, wildland protection, advanced life support, rescue, …

The action by the supervisors also allows all candidates vying for three available positions on the Superstition Fire and Medical District, which includes Apache Junction and Gold Canyon, to be elected to four-year terms.

“Two things that come to mind. The first is that with the fire board there were three open seats and only three people on the ballot. In years past when there is no run-off for a vote, the election process is pulled from the ballot, I do believe,” SFMD board incumbent Jason Moeller said. “This saves the fire (district) from having to spend taxpayers’ money on an election. This is roughly $25,000-$30,000 in savings to taxpayers.”

Mr. Moeller would have preferred that an election was held, he said Sept. 5.

“I feel strongly that the elections should still take place. The community has a right and responsibility to vote in the upcoming election to place who they see fit in the open positions that are open and have multiple people vying for those open seats,” he said. “I do hope that the board of directors does not cancel the upcoming elections as this hinders on the community’s ability to elect the best person they see fit to fill those vacant spots.”

42 elections canceled

The 42 school and special taxing districts with canceled Nov. 3 elections are:

  • Arizona City Fire District: Dean Craun (four-year term), Dewayne Hill (four-year term), Randy Wittenburg (four-year term).
  • Avra Valley Fire District: Sara Bauer (four-year term), Luis Castaneda (four-year term).
  • Central Arizona Water Conservation District: Stephen “Steve” Miller (six-year term).
  • Dudleyville Fire District: Thelma Casillas (four-year term), Leysa Rought (four-year term).
  • Eloy Fire District: Tom Cortez (four-year term), Edward Sauceda (four-year term), Luis Ybarra (four-year term).
  • Golder Ranch Fire District: Steve Brady (four-year term), Richard Hudgins (four-year term), Wally Vette (four-year term).
  • Mammoth Fire District: No candidates
  • Oracle Fire District: Paul Arias (four-year term), Ellie Brown (four-year term), Robert Walker (four-year term).
  • Pinal Rural Fire, Rescue And Medical District, Thomas Carlson (four-year term), Stephen Turcotte (four-year term).
  • Queen Valley Fire District: Lonna Garai (four-year term), Craig Salo (four-year term), Duane Williamson (four-year term).
  • San Manuel Fire District: Alfonso Cordero (four-year term), Jan Herrick (four-year term), Darrell Kyle (four-year term).
  • • Stanfield Fire District: Anthony Amarillas (four-year term), Joe Rodriguez (four-year term).
  • • Superstition Fire And Medical District: Jeff Cross (four-year term), Shawn Kurian (four-year term), Jason Moeller (four-year term).
  • Thunderbird Fire District: Patricia Kaup (four-year term).
  • Arizona City Sanitary District: Kim Allen (four-year term), David Ingraham (four-year term), Sherry Mitchell (four-year term).
  • Oracle Sanitary District: John Soulé (four-year term).
  • Queen Valley Sanitary District: Richard Moore (four-year term), Suzette Mittleider (four-year term).
  • Antelope Peak Domestic Water Improvement District: No candidates
  • Maricopa Consolidated Domestic Water Improvement District: No candidates
  • Maricopa Mountain Domestic Water Improvement District: Richard Brower (four-year term).
  • Papago Butte Domestic Water Improvement District: Jane Mead (four-year term).
  • Picacho Domestic Water Improvement District: James Tidwell (four-year term).
  • Queen Valley Domestic Water Improvement District: Craig Salo (four-year term), Robert Stewart (four-year term), Bruce Wittig (four-year term).
  • Seven Ranches Domestic Water Improvement District: No candidates
  • Thunderbird Farms Domestic Water Improvement District: Beverly Smith (four-year term), Martha M. Courtney-Boblitt (four-year term).
  • Valle Escondido Domestic Water Improvement District: No candidates
  • Villa Grande Domestic Water Improvement District: Terry Lee Eickstaedt (four-year term), Raymond Roerdink (four-year term), Cauy Washburn (four-year term).
  • Casa Grande Union High School District 82: Jack Henness (two-year term).
  • Central Arizona College Governing Board District 3: Evelyn Casuga (four-year term).
  • Central Arizona Valley Institute Of Technology: Mariano Baca (four-year term), Alma Farrell (four-year term).
  • Cobra Valley Institute Of Technology: Anna Flores (four-year term).
  • J.O. Combs Unified School District 44: Lisa Carr (two-year term), Bob D’elena (four-year term), Shelly Hargis (four-year term), Chad Mcleod (four-year term).
  • Mammoth-San Manuel Unified School District 8: Michael Carnes (two-year term).
  • Oracle Elementary School District 2: Edie Crall (four-year term), Camilo Gotay (four-year term), Linda Lyon (four-year term).
  • Picacho Elementary School District 33: Tracy Lee Aros (four-year term), Traci Kile (four-year term).
  • Ray Unified School District 3: Jonathan Troy Ramirez (two-year term), Amanda Kenney (four-year term), Steve Schiro (four-year term).
  • Red Rock Elementary School District 5: Joanna Mendoza (two-year term), Cody Bren (four-year term).
  • Sacaton Elementary School District 18: Ronald Nasewytewa (two-year term), Karen White (two-year term), Celeste Jackson (four-year term), Jane Johnson (four-year term).
  • Santa Cruz Valley Union High School District 840: L. Elizabeth Flores (four-year term), Brandi Ogle (four-year term), Richard Reyes (four-year term).
  • Stanfield Elementary School District 24: Yolanda Gonzales (four-year term).
  • Superior Unified School District 15: Ricardo Provencio (two-year term), Nathan Duarte (four-year term).
  • Toltec Elementary School District 22: Timothy Cason (two-year term), Bill Doherty (two-year term), Lewis Cortright (four-year term) And James Gray (four-year term).

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