It’s time to hear what the candidates stand for. The Indian River School District board election is coming in May, and the public can attend a candidates’ forum on Wednesday, April 10, at 6 p.m. at Frankford Public Library.
Geographically, the IRSD is split into five voting districts. For 2019, five candidates are competing for three seats in District 4 (in the Bethany area) and District 5 (Frankford, Selbyville and Gumboro).
School board elections will be Tuesday, May 14, (one week after the upcoming referendum vote).
The League of Women Voters of Sussex County has hosted similar forums for past elections, “to encourage people to be involved in the education in their community and to get them interested in voting,” said Jane Lord, a LWV event organizer.
“The [voter] turnout has been terrible for school board elections. The League is all about [educating and] empowering voters,” she added.
She said she believes all five candidates have agreed to participate.
“We don’t hold the candidate forum unless [all] contestants are there,” Lord said.
Candidates can make prepared statements, but most of the forum is driven by audience questions, submitted on notecards or online during the event. Even if a question is directed at one candidate, everyone has a chance to respond. LWVSC Vice President Janet Ambrose will serve as moderator.
The event will be live-streamed (broadcast online) through the LWV event page (or at 6 p.m. visit https://zoom.us/j/651730485), and people can submit questions through the online chat.
Four of 10 school board positions are up for election in 2019. Terms are five years each.
Donald G. Hattier and Scott W. Smith will compete for one seat in District 4, representing Frankford, western Dagsboro and eastern towns toward the beach.
Derek E. Cathell, W. Scott Collins and Jeffrey W. Evans will compete for two seats in District 5, representing Selbyville, Gumboro and parts of Frankford.
Heather Statler is unopposed for District 3, representing southern Millsboro and northern Dagsboro.
All candidates were also asked to post background information and their opinions on key issues (including overcrowding, test scores, meeting student needs and school safety) on www.VOTE411.org, the League’s online voters’ guide.
“We urge people to participate in our elections and to do their homework and know who their voting for,” Lord said.
The League’s Voter Services Committee is focused on providing resources to Sussex County residents to encourage civic engagement and participation in the elective process, to ultimately increase voter turnout and improve Sussex County’s representative democracy.
Residents do not need to register to vote in the school district elections. Voters must be 18 years of age and a resident of both the State of Delaware and the school district. They must bring proof of ID and residency to the polls, with voting available at various IRSD schools. Absentee voting will be allowed in person or by mail through the Department of Elections.
For more information:
• Absentee voting and election maps at Department of Elections, Sussex County Office, 119 N. Race Street, Georgetown. Call (302) 856-5367, fax (302) 856-5082 or visit https://electionssc.delaware.gov.
• LWV events at www.sussexlwv.org.
• LWV sample ballots and candidate questionnaires at VOTE411.org.
The Frankford Public Library is located at 8 Main Street, Frankford.
By Laura Walter