Veteran incumbent ousted

Almquist is out; Sierzchulski is back on Greenfield board

April 6, 2011

Greenfield — A longtime Greenfield School Board member was bumped from the board in balloting Tuesday.

Donald Almquist finished last in a field of four candidates running for two seats on the board.

At the same time, School Board President Bruce Bailey was returned for a second three-year term on the board. Voters also returned former School Board President Pam Sierzchulski to the board.

The unofficial totals are 29.5 percent of the vote for Bailey, 25.8 percent for Sierzchulski, 23.1 percent for Greenfield Fire Chief Russell Spahn, and 21.6 percent for Almquist who has served on the board for 29 years.

The unofficial vote totals, with 50.3 percent voter turnout are:

Bruce Bailey (inc.) 3,141

Pam Sierzchulski 2,743

Russell Spahn 2,465

Donald Almquist (inc.) 2,301

Election results remain unofficial until they are certified by the board of canvassers.

Bailey said he thinks voters were sending a message to board members.

"I think they like to vote for people who support education and watch the taxpayer dollar," he said.

"My record shows I wanted our tax money spent wisely. I voted against raises for administrators while supporting children," he said.

Reacting to the results Tuesday night, Sierzchulski said, "I'm thrilled. I think I can bring a lot to this board and hopefully we can have a collaborative effort to move ahead in these difficult times."

As to any message voters might be sending, Sierzchulski said, it seems to be a mixed message, with one incumbent elected and another not.

"And Bruce and I have different philosophies and we both got elected," she said.

Her philosophy, she said, "is that schools are the cornerstone of every community. If we don't support them it affects opportunity for the next generation and the value of your home."

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