Two central Kenai Peninsula incumbent members of the Kenai Peninsula Borough School District Board of Education retained their seats during Tuesday’s election in uncontested races.
Marty Anderson ran unopposed for a three-year term representing Sterling and Funny River. He has served on the Board of Education for nine years.
Tim Navarre ran unopposed for a three-year-term representing Kenai. Navarre has served on the Board of Education for three years.
Meanwhile, the race for the school board seat representing Homer was too close to call as of Tuesday night. Incumbent Liz Downing led challenger Mike Illg, 451 vote to 438 votes, with absentee ballots yet to be counted.
“We’ll have to wait for the final results,” said Downing, who has served on the school board since 2005. “Mike’s a good guy. I think I’ve done a good job and certainly care about what I do and we’ll see who is certified on Oct. 9.”
What did concern Downing was the 18 percent voter turnout in the Homer area.
“But I don’t control how they do elections and it does seem odd that there’s such important elections that are so separated from the others,” she said, referring to the Aug. 28 primary election and the Nov. 6 general election.
Illg, the community recreation-schools coordinator for the city of Homer, was encouraged by the narrow gap separating him from Downing.
“This tells me a lot of people were really supportive of my ideas and concepts for improving community communication, involvement and connection with local schools. Most importantly, taking care of our kids in our community,” said Illg.
He noted at a meeting he’d attended earlier in the week. “A community member said, ‘Look, my kids are grown up, but I’m here because I care about all the kids in the community.’ For me, that’s exactly the message I’m trying to portray. To strengthen our community, to make it healthy, to overcome negative things that come our way, we need to do it as a community, not as an academic institution.”
Of Downing, Illg said, “I think she has done a great job. I think she will continue to do a great job. Win or lose, this was a great experience. I’m glad people had a choice.”
Homer News reporter McKibben Jackinsky contributed to this report.