The Clawson Public Schools Board of Education is looking to fill two vacancies in the November election and, so far, only one candidate has filed.
Terms for board members Mike Bosnic and Joseph Bedford will end Dec. 31 and neither is seeking re-election. The filing deadline for candidates to be on the Nov. 6 ballot was 4 p.m. Tuesday. Anyone who files after the deadline will be a write-in candidate.
Brad Batur, who is a parent, was the lone resident to put his hat in the ring for one of the vacancies.
Batur, 38, has been a Clawson Youth Soccer coach for the past five years and also serves on the Fourth of July committee.
"If it's something I can provide values and input on... I'd like to do it," said Batur who works as a financial advisor in Southfield. "The schools are going to make the future of our community. I truly enjoy working with kids."
Board of Education President Kevin Turner said he plans to reach out to school groups such as Parent-Teacher Associations to find candidates for the second vacancy.
This isn't the first time Clawson has struggled to find Board of Education candidates: Board secretary as a write-in candidate in the November 2011 election. She filed two months after the deadline.
"We are a small community, so there is a small lot to choose from because you have to live in town," Turner said. "We’ve had four or five elections with people running unopposed."
Turner said the community's lack of interest could be a sign that officials are doing a good job running the district.
"When things go bad, then we get a lot of people that want to fix things," Turner said.
Clawson Public Schools Superintendent Monique Beels said she believes there is little excitement for the schools in the Clawson community and she hopes to change that. This will be Beels' first school year leading the district.
The focus will be "getting more people active and more involved and getting more people who have that sense of urgency," she said.
Beels said she also is concerned that many residents didn't know about the open seats.
"I think therein lies a communication problem," Beels said, adding that the district must do a better job of informing residents about Board of Education vacancies.
Beels plans to attend school events and curriculum nights at the beginning of the school year where she can talk to community members and encourage more involvement. Growing the leadership in the school district will be key, she said.
For those interested in running for the Board of Education, Turner said it's about a 8- to 10-hour commitment per month. The terms last four years. The following are a list of expectations for board members:
- Willingness to work with others
- Respect for other opinions
- Attending board meetings once a month
- Eager to learn about education
- Attending school functions and PTA meetings
- Must be a Clawson resident
"The biggest thing is to be able to work cooperatively with others," Turner said.
Anyone who is interested in running for the Board of Education as a write-in candidate must file a Declaration of Intent no later than 4 p.m. Oct. 26. Contact the Oakland County Elections Division at 248-858-0563 or firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.