JEWELL - It was the closest call of any race in Tuesday's election, but in the end, Cathy Rozinek won the Jewell School Board Position 3 seat with 99 votes (51 percent) - just six more votes than her opponent, Tania Skinner.
Those elected in Jewell will lead the district through a variety of issues, including the hiring of a new, permanent superintendent, business manager and principal, replacing teachers who plan to retire, and overseeing the final construction stages of a multimillion-dollar new school building.
Only one incumbent of three whose seats were on the ballot chose to run for another four-year term.
Voters kept school board Chairman Karl Meier in his Position 5 seat. He posted 113 ballots in favor (55 percent) over his challenger, former board member Carolyn Eady's 91 (45 percent).
"With the newcomers coming on, I hope to continue to have strong leadership for the district," Meier said this morning. He noted a few priorities for 2007-08: hiring a permanent superintendent to replace John Seeley, who resigned in a settlement with the district earlier in May, and wrapping up construction of the new school, which is slated for completion in December.
Former Elsie-Vinemaple fire chief Allen Foster won the Position 1 seat now held by Oly Schockelt, who didn't seek another term. Foster tallied 146 votes (72 percent), compared with Jewell parent Gerald Coy's 56 votes (27 percent). There were two write-ins.
Foster was unavailable for comment Tuesday and today.
The race for Position 3 also featured only newcomers, because director Carrie Thompson did not seek re-election. Just six votes separated contestants Rozinek and Skinner; Clatsop County typically holds a recount for races within two votes.
"I'm excited it was close," said Rozinek, who won. "That just means we were both qualified candidates, and I think the community would have supported either one of us."
In terms of her priorities, she said, "I really want to see us get a plan of attack; in other words, I'd like to see us set some short-term goals that are achievable, so we can show that Jewell is back on track. ... And I want to continue working on communication to the community and involve the teachers. I think the communication has just not been good in the last few years."
Despite any past problems she identified, Rozinek does not anticipate any issues working on the board.
"I don't think we'll have a problem," she said. "It's just about getting in there and working as a team, establishing how we intend to work together, setting goals, and communicating our goals to the community.
"I really look forward to this opportunity for us to set new policies and ensure a better future for our kids."
One seat on the Jewell School Board remains vacant after director Teri Greenwood resigned to move out of the district. Board members could appoint someone to fill the position.