Budget controversy may spur interest in race

Voters and potential candidates are now able to see whether controversy this fall generated by the Burlington Area School District’s budget process will result in contested elections this spring.

Two seats on the School Board, those currently held by John Anderson and Susan Kessler, will appear on the ballot for the April 3 election.

Today is the first day school district residents interested in seeking one of the seats may file a declaration of candidacy. Both seats carry three-year terms.

Potential candidates have until Jan. 3 to file their declaration. Additional information is available at the school district office, 100 N. Kane Street.

The district’s budget process became embroiled in controversy at the annual meeting in August when residents voted down the tax levy, 153-115, proposed by the School Board and administration.

The board decided to ignore that vote and approved the levy as originally proposed.

The issue came to a head two months later when the board, at the request of residents, scheduled a second public vote on the levy. This time a crowd of roughly 900 people filled the Burlington High School gym, with the overwhelming majority voting in favor of the proposed levy.

In the wake of the controversy some of the board’s opponents pledged to seek different representation at election time.

If more than four candidates file to seek the two seats, a primary election will be held Feb. 21.

School Board members do not receive a salary.