Candidates file for SLSD board

It’s a group of mainly familiar faces looking to get re-elected to the South Lane School District school board. Four positions will be up for grabs at this year’s May 21 special election with three of those seats running unopposed.

The seats up for election in this cycle includes positions one, three, six and seven.

Tammy Hodgkinson currently holds position one is running unopposed as is Jerry Settelmeyer for position six.

Hodgkinson has served on the board since May 2011 while Settelmeyer was elected to his seat in 2015.

Merlene Martin, elected to the board in 2011, announced last year that she was not going to run for re-election. Dustin Bengtson will be running unopposed for that position. On Bengtson’s candidate filing form he notes that he currently works with the US Army Corps of Engineers and as a volunteer around the city and with the SLSD. A graduate from the University of Iowa, he states that he has “experience in budget development and execution” in addition to personnel, assets and policy management.

The one seat that is being contested this year is position seven. Gary Mort is the incumbent and was elected to the position in 2015. Mort, who has a doctorate degree from the University of California Davis, is a faculty instructor in the science department at Lane Community College.

Running against Mort is Demian Schwartz. As stated in her filing, Schwartz, who has an administrative license from the University of Oregon, is a school administrator and according to LinkedIn serves as the director at the Eugene Sudbury School. The Sudbury school is described on its website as a striving to provide a “democratic education.”

According to past articles from the Register-Guard, Schwartz was also involved with the Blue Mountain School charter in SLSD that was terminated of its charter in December of 2008 and attempted to open a similar charter in Pleasant Hill in 2010.

The final day for voters to register to vote is April 30 and ballots will be mailed on May 2.


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