Two candidates file for three Helena school board spots, board to consider additional levy

Posted at 6:13 PM, Mar 29, 2019
and last updated 2019-03-29 20:42:43-04

(HELENA) Only two candidates have filed to run for three open seats on the Helena School District’s board of trustees.

Incumbent trustee Libby Goldes and candidate John McEwen were the only ones who filed for the May 7 election by Thursday’s deadline. Incumbents Tyler Emmert and Sanjay Talwani did not file to run for another three-year term.

People can still register as write-in candidates with the Lewis and Clark County Elections Office through next Thursday, April 4. If no one else files, the two current candidates will be automatically elected, and the rest of the board will appoint someone to fill the third seat. That person would have to run again next year for the remaining two years of the term.

If one candidate files as a write-in, all three people will be automatically elected. If two or more file, the election will go forward as planned.

Emmert confirmed to MTN he is not planning to serve another term. Talwani said he had not planned to run, but he has not ruled out filing as a write-in since one position remained open.

The school board will also discuss next week whether to put an elementary school levy before voters on May 7. Trustees will hold a special meeting Tuesday at 4 p.m. at the Capital High School auditorium.

Board chair Sarah Sullivan said trustees could propose an additional property tax levy of up to one mill, which would raise more than $103,000 a year. She said they will discuss the district’s budget outlook and whether the levy is necessary during the Tuesday meeting. They are encouraging teachers to attend the meeting to hear the budget discussion.

In the East Helena School District, incumbent trustees Marcia Ellermeyer and Scott Walter and candidate Wesley Feist filed to run for two three-year spots on the board. Martin Balukas, appointed to the board last year, is the only candidate running to finish the last year of his predecessor’s unexpired term.