Four Open Columbia Falls School Board Spots, One Candidate

By Beacon Staff

There isn’t any reason to be scared of Mike Nicosia. Really.

But you have to wonder exactly what the deal is with the Columbia Falls School District 6 Board of Trustees.

It’s like a ghost town, come election day. What do I mean, you say? For all but a lonely few of the SD6 trustee elections this decade, every single one of the positions have gone uncontested.

In at least one instance (my memory fades, bear with me), trustee positions had to be recruited after a failed election, interviewed by the board, and later appointed by the board.

Is everyone in the Columbia Falls area covered by SD6 really that thrilled with the job they are doing? My rhetorical question isn’t intended to be a reflection on the job they’ve done, instead it’s a reflection upon the fact that every other elected position in the valley is like a cat fight.

Except this one.

This year is shaping up like all the rest in the 21st century, SD6-wise. With four board trustee positions open, only one person (a current board trustee) has filed a petition to be included on this year’s SD6 trustee election ballot. That’s how it stands as of 3:00pm today (Mar 24).

So what exactly IS the reason for the apparent lack of interest?

I know it isn’t because no one in our proud little town gives a rip about our schools. I know it isn’t because Mike is a really mean scary guy. He isn’t. Maybe you’re busy on Monday nights. Maybe you just can’t stand the thought of missing out on Monday Night Football.

But still, I think it’s rather odd that only one person in our community has stepped up to offer their insight, experience (and finger-wagging skills) in order to improve, maintain and enrich our schools. I’m sure Mike would love to have someone who has a knack for balancing budgets, or even better, someone good at squeezing blood out of a turnip (relax, my grandmother used to say that).

Should you decide that you have some time to help the District this year, give Dustin a call at 406-892-6550, Ext. 430. He’ll get you setup with the rules and such, but don’t dawdle. The filing deadline for petitions to get on the ballot is March 27. If you’re a procrastinator, you should know that the write-in deadline is April 10.

In the meantime, if you have some insight into the reasons for the lack of interest, I’d like to hear your thoughts.

One last thing…When I spoke with him this afternoon, SD6 Business Manager Dustin Zuffelato didn’t sound too surprised about the lack of applicants. I decided not to put him on the spot and ask him for a reason.

You know, ‘cuz Mike’s office is just down the hall.

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