Eihausen, Payne to compete for PCSD school board seat
Only a handful of registered voters in Park City turned out to vote in the Primary School Board race Tuesday night, but it was enough to decide that Julie Eihausen and Doug Payne would be the two candidates advancing to the November General Election ballot for the Park City School Board District 5 seat.
Eihausen earned 80 of the 217 votes cast while Payne received 59 votes. Ed Lowsma came in third with 42 votes while Julie Nirula garnered 36.
Eihausen is a regular attendee of school board meetings, almost always approaching the podium during public comment to voice her concerns over decisions being made.
"While I approve of shorter board meetings, I have been to some that last well into the late evening, I don’t believe there is enough discussion of subjects prior to votes being cast," she said. "I have a little bit of an issue with that, because I don’t think everything gets fleshed out and there is more discussion that needs to be had."
She referred to a recent decision to move forward on construction of the new multi-purpose building on Kearns Boulevard. School board member Tania Knauer asked several questions Eihausen said she and other members of the community felt the rest of the board ignored, making the decision "very rapidly."
Eihausen is also critical of her opponent. She is worried about the effectiveness of Doug Payne, a retiree of the Park City School District. Being a former employee of the district means he may have to sit out of discussions or decisions made regarding policies and benefit or compensation packages.
But Payne said being a retiree of the district will not have any effect on his ability to make decisions on the school board, because he is no longer an employee. He now conducts part-time work for Amerifleet, a transportation company.
"She is incorrect in her assumption, because I am not employed by the school board in any way," Payne said. "Having retired from the district will not make any difference at all except that I have an insider’s knowledge of how the district works, from my teaching, administration and athletic administration experience."
Payne added that he will continue talking with people in the district about the budget to see what changes can or cannot be made and how to better utilize the money. He said he also plans to gather as much information as he can about current programs.
South Summit School Board District 4 race
In South Summit, School Board District 4 incumbent Steven Hardman of Kamas will face off against Lisa Kay Farmer of Marion for his seat. Hardman received 68 of the 109 votes cast while Farmer received 30.
Farmer said she has a lot of respect for Hardman and the work he has done while on the school board as well as the work he put into his campaign leading up to the primary election. In fact, she said she is going to follow in her opponent’s footsteps and go door-to-door to inform her fellow community members about her views.
"Steve is an awesome guy and has done a great job. He was great to do that last year and already came around before the primaries," she said. "I’m going to spend some time doing that as well so voters will be educated and be able to vote for who they think will best represent them."
Farmer said she feels she offers a new and different perspective given her experience as a mother of three graduates of the district, seven children currently in the schools and two that have not entered into the system yet.
Hardman said he agreed Farmer would probably offer a different perspective on the board and a fresh perspective is never a bad thing. Nevertheless, he would love to serve another term to help the district face a new challenge.
"We need to be aware of the growth that could happen in our district," he said, referring to the Silver Creek Village housing development. "It is definitely going to happen, we just don’t know when. But we need to look ahead to meet the needs of the people in those areas and find good, quality people to fill new roles in the district."
Payne said he realizes there weren’t many voters Tuesday night but appreciates those that did go out and vote for who they thought would do the best job.
"It certainly shows the community support here," he said. "Now we need a lot more than just the few hundred if that—that turned out tonight, and we would like to see them all at the November General Election."