Of the three main school districts serving Goodyear and Litchfield Park, only Litchfield Elementary School District has a contested governing board race on the ballot Tuesday, Nov. 3.
Incumbents Danielle Clymer, Dr. Tawnya Pfitzer and Melissa Zuidema, whose four-year terms on LESD’s governing board expire Dec. 31, will face challengers August Jeremy Hoenack and Ryan Risselman at the polls.
Each candidate has been invited to participate in an Independent Newsmedia written Q&A.
Ms. Clymer, a marketing consultant from Goodyear, serves as board president.
Ms. Pfitzer of Buckeye, one of two write-in candidates, is a podiatrist.
Ms. Zuidema is a business owner from Litchfield Park.
Mr. Hoenack is a Buckeye inventor and property manager who is retired from the motion picture industry.
Mr. Risselman of Goodyear, the other write-in candidate, is an electrical estimator.
LESD operates 11 elementary schools and five middle schools serving preschool through eighth-grade students in Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear and Litchfield Park.
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Agua Fria Union High School District’s governing board election was canceled and incumbent Gina DeCoste, Kristen Acton and Trey Terry elected without opposition to seats held by Ms. DeCoste, Mariana Sandoval and Mary Kay Utecht. Ms. Sandoval is a candidate for the Arizona House of Representatives’ Legislative District 13 and Ms. Utecht did not seek reelection.
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Agua Fria operates five high schools, Agua Fria, Canyon View, Desert Edge, Millenium and Verrado, serving Avondale, Buckeye, Goodyear, Litchfield Park, Waddell and parts of Glendale. It also operates two alternative programs, Coldwater and New Directions.
Avondale Elementary School District’s election was canceled when incumbents Elizabeth Canchola, Mark Gonzales, Megan Griego, Amy Lowe and Robert Vernier went unchallenged.
AESD does have a 15% maintenance and operation budget override on the November ballot.
According to AESD’s website, if voters approve the override, the district would receive an estimated $5,122,283 the first year, funded by an estimated $1.12 tax rate per $100 of net assessed valuation used for secondary property tax purposes, which is approximately equal to the current secondary tax rate for the existing budget override.
For more information, visitchooseaesd.org/domain/257.
Arizona state law allows Arizona school districts to increase their maintenance and operation budgets up to 15% of the Revenue Control Limit with voter approval. Override elections provide funding to the school district for seven years. The district receives the full amount of the approval for five years; in the sixth year, the amount decreases by one-third; and in the seventh year, the amount decreases by two-thirds. Voters must reauthorize the override by the seventh year, or the district no longer receives the override funding.
AESD operates nine schools from preschool through eighth grade, serving students in Avondale and Goodyear.
Kelly O’Sullivan can be reached at email@example.com or 760-963-1697.