JOHNSBURG – Two newcomers appear poised to take seats on the District 12 School Board, with one vote as of late Tuesday evening separating two incumbents fighting for the last open seat.
District voters appeared poised to send challengers Valerie Klos and Jerry Harker to the board, according to the most recent returns. Incumbent Melissa Tinsley had only a one-vote advantage over fellow incumbent Steve Rooney.
Because Tuesday night’s totals did not include provisional and late-mail ballots, which have yet to be counted, it could be some time before the winner is decided. Election authorities have two weeks after the election to receive and count votes.
Klos, a district volunteer with six children in the district, had 671 votes. Harker, senior vice-president of a bank, had 659. And Tinsley had 580 votes to 579 for Rooney.
Rowe, the board’s vice-president, came in second to last in the six-way race. Also running was newcomer Jason Blumenthal.
District finances and the quality of education were singled out as top priorities for candidates. The board cut 13 teaching and one administrative position last year to rein in a million-dollar deficit, and passed a referendum earlier this year to embark on a $41 million facility improvement program.