School board election petition deadline set at Feb. 13

Published 6:22 am Wednesday, January 10, 2007

By Staff
NILES – The deadline is fast approaching for candidates planning to run for a board of education position in the May 8 election.
Linda Casperson, Berrien County election administrator, said anyone pursuing a seat on the board of education with Niles Community Schools or Brandywine Community Schools must file paperwork by 4 p.m. on Tuesday, Feb. 13. All documents required for Brandywine or Niles school boards must be filed with the county clerk at the Berrien County South County Building in Niles at 1205 N. Front St.
Paperwork for Niles candidates can be obtained from Niles City Clerk Ruth Harte at Niles City Hall, 508 E. Main St., or from the Westside Administrative Services Center, 111 Spruce St.
Brandywine candidates can pick up the necessary paperwork from Niles Township Clerk Marge Durm-Hiatt at township hall, 320 Bell Road, or at the Brandywine administrative office in the Bell Education Center, 1830 S. Third St.
All candidates must be at least 18 years of age, a registered voter and live in the school district.
Niles and Brandywine candidates must file a school board candidate affidavit of identification form. Plus, a nominating petition with a required number of signatures – the minimum signature amount depends on population of the school district – or payment of a non-refundable $100 filing fee is also required. Additionally, each candidate expecting to receive or spend in excess of $1,000 on a campaign must also file a campaign finance statement of organization form.
The boards of education at Niles and Brandywine each have two seats open in May. In Niles, the terms of Dana Daniels and John Maddox are expiring. Both positions are four-year terms.
Brandywine board member Dennis Cooper is facing an expired term June 30. That seat is a four-year term through June 30, 2011.
There is also a one-year term available on the Brandywine board that belonged to former trustee Cindy Benson and was filled by appointment of Thomas Wentworth. State law mandates any board of education seat vacated prior to the term's expiration must be available at the next school board election. The winner in May of that seat will complete Benson's original term expiring June 30, 2008. The next occupant of that seat will serve a four-year term.
For more information on the May 8 board of education elections contact the Niles Westside Administrative Services Center at (269) 683-0732 or the Brandywine administrative office in the Bell Education Center at (269) 684-7150.