Field finalized for city school board race

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, January 24, 2012

The Brookhaven School District school boardelection will remain a two-person race.

    The qualifying deadline passed Monday with no other candidatesappearing to join Erin Williamson Smith and Lea Barrett in the racefor the open seat.

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    The election occurs March 3 from 1 to 6 p.m. at the Brookhaven HighSchool Gymnasium.

    Both Smith and Barrett have pointed to their experiences with thedistrict in speaking about their candidacy.

    Smith is involved in the PTA at Mamie Martin where her son Bryce isa student. Barrett held the Brookhaven superintendent post for sixand a half years until her February 2011 retirement.

    Smith has said she wants to represent the perspective and voice ofparents on the board, whereas Barrett has pointed to her experienceleading the district as an asset in a year when budgets areexpected to be tight.

    The school district’s 2011-12 budget decreased by almost$800,000.

    Carl Aycock currently holds the seat Smith or Barrett will fill inMarch. After 15 years on the board, Aycock is not seekingre-election because his residency no longer makes him eligible.

    Eligible voters and candidates must live within the BrookhavenSchool district but outside the Brookhaven city limits. Vote totalshave therefore tended to be low. When the last election was held in2007, 145 people voted.

    School board attorney Bob Allen has said 400 voters would be a goodturnout.

    There are five school board members, two elected and three chosenby the Brookhaven board of aldermen. Board members serve five-yearterms.

    Aycock is the current board chairman, but following his departurethose duties will pass to Karen Braden.