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Complex ballot in Nelson, East Coloma

Who gets elected where depends on merger’s passage

ROCK FALLS – Voters in the Nelson and East Coloma school districts can expect a complicated ballot in April.

First, residents will vote whether to merge the two schools.

Then, if they approve the consolidation, candidates who seek seats on the seven-member, at-large board of the consolidated district will take office.

But if they deny the consolidation, candidates who seek seats on their respective district boards will take office.

In Nelson, one seat on the three-member board is open, Superintendent Gregory Lutyens said Wednesday. Incumbent David DeVries Jr. is seeking re-election. No other candidates filed papers.

In East Coloma, six seats on the seven-member board are open, four full terms and two as a result of appointments, bookkeeper Barb Harrington said Thursday. Only three people turned in papers: incumbents Neal Folgers and Bill Seidel, as well as member Patrick Fortney, who was appointed in September.

Incumbents Jerry Stanley and Brent Thomas did not file paperwork to seek re-election, Harrington said. Lutyens, who lives in the East Coloma district and was appointed in November, also did not file paperwork to seek election to the board, she said.

If consolidation fails, the East Coloma board will have to appoint three members, Harrington said.

For the consolidated board, six people turned in papers to appear on the ballot: East Coloma board president Mark Nardini; East Coloma board members Folgers, Fortney and Seidel; and Nelson board members Chris Buikema and Kim Velazquez.

If consolidation passes, the new board will have to appoint a seventh member, Harrington said.

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