Whitley County Consolidated School patrons have decisions to make regarding who will represent them on their board in the coming years.
Four seats are open on the board, with three incumbents, Don Armstrong, Brooks Langeloh and Tim Bloom, choosing to seek re-election. Nicki Baker opted to not seek re-election.
The incumbents all have challengers.
Baker and Armstrong represents the city district and there are challenges for both seats from three opponents, Herschel Aumsbaugh, Christopher Bechtold and Eric Horvath.
Bloom, an attorney, faces a head-to-head challenge from fellow attorney Terry L. Smith for the Columbia Township seat, and two candidates, Richard Eckert and Leah Heaston, are opposing incumbent Brooks Langeloh to represent Thorncreek Township.
The Whitley County Community Foundation and The Post & Mail are providing an opportunity for voters to hear from the candidates at a forum set for 7 p.m. Oct. 26 at Columbia City High School’s auditorium.
“When the public comes together to vote and put their trust in an elected official, it should be done based upon educated decisions. By offering this school board candidates forum in partnership with The Post & Mail, we hope to provide voters with insight into the views of each candidate,” said September McConnell, executive director of the Whitley County Community Foundation.
Candidates Brooks Langeloh, Don Armstrong, Chris Bechtold, Eric Horvath and Tim Bloom have confirmed they will be in attendance.
Smith and Eckert, two of the three members of the Whitley County Patriots who are seeking seats on the board, have declined saying they will be out of town.
The third Patriot member, Herschel Aumsbaugh, along with candidate Heaston have not RSVP’d to their invitations.
“The bottom line is that our community needs school board members who are up to speed on current educational issues and the economic trends facing Whitley County. By answering questions directed from their constituents, the candidates will be able to express their opinions in a fair and balanced setting and hopefully, enlighten voters,” McConnell said.
Candidates will each get a chance to provide a brief introductory statement, then answer questions provided by Post & Mail publisher Rick Kreps, who will moderate the event. Questions for the candidates are being solicited from the local residents.
Residents should send their questions to The Post & Mail, 927 W. Connexion Way, Columbia City, IN, 46725.
“The Post & Mail’s staff is pleased to partner with the candidates, Whitley County Consolidated Schools and the Whitley County Community Foundation to provide this upcoming forum. It’s essential that candidates inform voters about their candidacy. This forum will provide a unique ‘first-person’ experience for the public to attend,” Kreps said.