Not Enough Candidates for School Board in Hermantown, Wrenshall

By KBJR News 1

October 29, 2010 Updated Oct 29, 2010 at 10:23 PM CDT

DULUTH, MN (Northland's Newscenter) - Several school districts around Minnesota are having a tough time getting enough candidates to fill open school board positions - Hermantown and Wrenshall are two of those districts.

Hermantown school board members said the low candidate numbers may have to do with lack of incentives and described the job as a low-paid, often "thankless" position.

With budget crunches board members are making tough decisions that can leave them either raising taxes or making cuts - both unpopular items.

Members in Hermantown have recently dealt with a failed referendum as well as negotiating with the teachers union over pay.

Hermantown now has three open positions on the board with only one incumbent running.

In Wrenshall the situation is slightly better with two incumbents running for three open positions.

"It's one of those decisions that affects one, your family, and two, your time commitments,"

"If you're not fair as far as compensating your employees, they'll let you know so no matter which way it goes, you always hear it one way or another," Jim Knapp, superintendent of Wrenshall.

Both said the job can be tough in small towns because your decisions affect your neighbors; people you see every day. But they said the job can also be very rewarding.

Both districts have write-in candidates running to fill all the open spots, and voters must spell the names of those candidates correctly to have the vote count.

HERMANTOWN CANDIDATES: Incumbent Greg Carlson and write-in candidates Terri Kragseth, Sara Romagnoli,Blaine Peterson, Rick Fuller, Leo Plewa and Deanna Gronseth.

Posted to Web by Jena Pike