Between last week’s general election and the primary and the two municipal elections held earlier this year, one might think that elections are done with for a few years. Not so fast.
The West Las Vegas School Board voted unanimously Thursday to approve an election for two school board seats, for a school bond and for a capital improvements tax on Feb. 5. Other area schools boards will soon be scheduling their elections as well.
At West, school board members Christine Ludi and David Romero hold the two seats up for election.
Ludi, known for continuously questioning district expenditures, has held a seat on the school board since 2005. She won her second term in 2009 with roughly 70 percent of the vote. An assistant vice-president of the local State Employees Credit Union branch, Ludi has held numerous positions on the board, including a stint as board chairwoman. She currently serves as board secretary.
Ludi and Romero said they would seek re-election.
Both positions are for a four-year term commencing on March 1. Filing day for the two positions is Dec. 18 at the San Miguel County Clerk’s Office.
The bond question will authorize the school district to issue general obligation bonds of no more than $5 million. If approved, revenue from the bonds will be used to improve school facilities, purchase computer software and hardware for student use and to provide matching funds for capital outlay projects. In 2009, west-side voters approved the bond question with nearly 71 percent in favor.
In the February election, west-side voters will also decide whether to continue a two-mill levy. This tax question will tax property owners $2 per $1,000 of net taxable property value.
School Superintendent Gene Parson said both the bond and mill levy questions are extremely important to the district. Both help the district with facility improvements and other district needs, including technology and transportation, he said.
“We rely on the constituents to fund any construction projects the school needs,” Parson said. “Without their assistance and without their help we would be hurting.”
“We certainly hope they will continue to support the district for construction needs. Ultimately, they are supporting the kids,” he added.
“We got a solid board, and we are hoping that it stays the same,” Ludi said during a telephone interview. “We are hoping the people of West Las Vegas will bring us back.”
Ludi joined the board just months before the state’s Public Education Department took over the district’s finances after a $10,000 bilingual bash. The district regained control of its finances in February.
Ludi said the board has since established and has active audit and finance committees.
“We really scrutinize our expenditures now,” Ludi said. “That’s a good thing because we are being held accountable for the people’s money.”
Ludi and Romero both said that among their biggest accomplishments as board members was helping the district regain control of its finances.
Romero, who at the time was a political newcomer, won his seat with roughly 39 percent of the vote in 2009. He was among the board members voting against renewing former Superintendent Jim Abreu’s contract. Romero currently serves as vice-chair of the board.
“Committed people and staff members have asked me to continue on so I decided to try again,” said Romero, the father of two West Middle School students. “I welcome any individuals to run for school board, but ask that if they do, that they have the heart to make the district better and not because they have hidden agendas.”
The Las Vegas City Schools board will likely vote on its own election resolution at its meeting scheduled for 5 p.m. on Nov. 20.