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Candidates file for office in city, school races

MORRIS – A mix of familiar and new faces are seeking seats on the Morris City Council and Morris Area School Board in the general election this fall.

The filing period for city and school elections closed on Tuesday, Aug. 12.

In city races, incumbent Mayor Sheldon Giese will be challenged by Sheila Hemming.

There are four candidates vying for two open seats on the city council. Sitting council members Jeff Miller and Brian Solvie have both filed for re-election. Geoff Richardson and Kim Gullickson have also filed for those seats.

Seven school board members will finish their terms at the end of 2014: Lisa Kurtz, Robin Anderson, Brad Zimmel, Doug Stahman, Kurt Gartland, Lory Lemke and the temporary replacement for Christy Hubbard, who resigned from the board in June.

Under the consolidation agreement with Cyrus, voters will only replace three seats on the board with two four-year terms and one two-year term.

Stahman and Mike Odello have filed for the two open four-year terms. Kurtz and Nancy Huot have filed for the open two-year term.

Gartland, the current chair of the Morris Area School Board, said he decided to step aside after 16 years on the school board to allow others to have an opportunity to run.

In an e-mail to members of the board, district administrators and staff, and members of the media, Gartland said he was not stepping down because of issues in the school or the school district.

“Change happens – to organizations and to us,” Gartland wrote. “We need to learn to be change agents – to understand why change is happening, to see what is right and/or wrong in the change, to support the people involved and nourish the relationships.”

Gartland also encouraged board members to speak up for those in the school who do not have a voice, look to all sides of every story, and to trust administrators to make good decision.

“Do not try to run the school – the administrators know better than we do how to best run the school – but diligently guide the process, give direction, and help to encourage the staff.”

Filing for state and county races closed in June.

Stevens County Commissioner Jeanne Ennen is the only candidate to file for a seat in District 2. In District 5, Laurie Vavra will challenge sitting Commissioner Phil Gausman for the seat.

Other filings include Jason Dingman for Sheriff, Aaron Jordan for County Attorney, Neil Wiese for County Auditor/Treasurer, Virgina Mahoney for County Recorder, James Krosch for Soil and Water Supervisor in District 3 and Greg Fynboh for Soil and Water Supervisor in District 2.

Sonja Amundson of Chokio has launched a write-in campaign for auditor/treasurer.