Empty Ballots?

Community involvement is not at a high level in the governance of the City of Warren and Warren County School District.

As the primary election nears, there are fewer applicants for positions on city council and school board than there are openings.

According to Warren County Director of Elections Lisa Zuck, three candidates have formally thrown hats into the Warren County School District Board of Directors’ ring. However, there are four open seats.

Current board members Jack Werner in Region II and Tom Knapp in Region III filed petitions to run for the seats they currently occupy. Paul Mangione filed to be on the ballot in Region I. Current board members Dr. Paul Yourchisin and John Grant, whose terms are up, did not file petitions.

All three filers will run on both Republican and Democratic ballots as they cross-filed. Appearing on the school board ballot requires 10 signatures from citizens of the region who are registered in the desired party.

Board member Nancy McDanel resigned from her position on Monday. That change was too late for the opening to appear on the primary election ballot, according to Zuck.

A name could appear on the November ballot for McDanel’s position, but not from a primary write-in – because there is no office on the ballot for which to write in a candidate.

In the case a seat is vacated after the list of open seats is produced, the Democratic and Republican party chairmen may file nominating certificates. A certificate requires a certain number of signatures from party committee members and the deadline is Sept. 16.

City Council will likely see some new faces. Mayor Mark Phillips did not file a petition. Council member Maurice Cashman did, but for mayor, not his council seat.

Incumbents Jim Zavinski and John Lewis filed petitions.

No one filed petitions for four years in Cashman’s former seat nor for the remaining two years of Chris Park’s.