School boards likely will see little turnover
Election results across Jackson County yielded just a handful of surprises and close calls Tuesday night, as most of the races went in expected directions.
Preliminary results continued to show a low turnout for the election, with just 18.3 percent of voters casting ballots.
Dick Dunn, a member of the Central Point School Board for four decades, was unseated by local developer Bret Moore by a wide margin. Another incumbent, June Brock, maintained her position, winning another four-year term with more than 42 percent of the votes in a three-way contest against Tracy Jackson and John Hilkey.
Newcomer Jolee Wallace, meanwhile, garnered more than 60 percent of the vote in defeating two opponents, Cathy Hopkinson and Natalie Martin, for a third Central Point position.
Moore and Wallace each acknowledged that the district faces a tough job ahead.
"We've got some tough times — and are already in the midst of some tough times — so we'll figure out what we've got to do and just do it," Moore said. "It's what we're doing in business right now "¦ doesn't matter what district you're in, you're going to earn your keep as a school district member."
Wallace, a former school teacher, said she was humbled and excited by early results.
"I just want to bring a positive tone to the district and I hope I can do the great job I think everyone voted me to do," she said.
In Eagle Point, incumbents Scott Grissom and Jonathan Bilden, the current school board chairman, were divided by a mere 300 votes in early returns. Bilden was unavailable for comment, but Grissom said his intent for the race was to defeat Bilden to remove him from the board.
"If I didn't win, I wasn't gonna lose any sleep over it, but I've been there eight years so I wasn't too worried about it," Grissom said.
"I just think its important we keep our priorities right and do our best to keep class sizes down and avoid layoffs. I want to continue to encourage the administration to find other ways to save money other than laying off teachers."
For other available seats in Eagle Point, Charles Pomeroy trailed incumbent Ted Dole by less fewer than 100 votes, leaving an outcome too close to call.
In a bid between four newcomers for a third position, Jim Mannenbach had a lead of about 200 votes in early returns — trailed by Fred Thomas, Brian Saling and Jake Kleker.
Newcomers Spencer Davenport and Mark Bateman were nearly tied for the fourth open Eagle Point position with Davenport holding a slight lead.
In the race to fill two contested positions on the Phoenix-Talent School Board, incumbents were facing a split decision.
Incumbent Nate Shinn led his opponent, Steve Schulman, comfortably in early returns. Newcomer Dave Garcia, however, was almost assured of defeating incumbent Bob Kerlinger. Garcia had 65 percent of the vote in early returns.
Shinn said with district's faced with less-than-popular decisions in recent years, he was honored to get a nod of approval from votes.
"I'm honored that they've put their trust in me for another four years — and that'll see me thru until my youngest is graduated form high school and then we'll go from there," he said.
Finally, in a race for three seats in Rogue River, two incumbents, Rich Pardy and Vince Ceriello, were unchallenged. Incumbent Julie Niles-Fry faced a challenger, Dave Davis, but held a more than 150-vote lead (660 votes compared to 509) over Davis according to early elections results.