Fairfield Ledger

Mt. Pleasant News   Wash Journal
Neighbors Growing Together | Jul 16, 2018

Kurka appointed to school board, special election petition filed

By Nicole Major, Ledger staff writer | Aug 30, 2017

The Fairfield Community School District Board of Directors appointed Fairfield resident Ryan Kurka Monday to temporarily fill the school board seat vacated by former school board president Phil Miller.

Miller was recently elected to the Iowa House of Representatives.

Although Kurka will fill the spot, that does not mean he will become the school board’s president.

Kurka, who is a field adjuster for Farm Bureau Financial Services and a trustee on the board of the Fairfield Elks Club, is married to Sabrina. The couple have two sons, Konner, 13, and Jaxon, 8, who are both enrolled at Fairfield.

“I feel I have the best interest for how the school is ran — I do have two boys here,” Kurka said.

“I’m happy with his appointment; he’ll do great,” Sabrina Kurka said.

The school board had 30 days from the date that Miller tendered his resignation, which was effective Aug. 16, to appoint a replacement.

On Aug. 16, school board secretary Kim Sheets published a state-mandated notice of intent to appoint, which provided community members 14 days to file a petition requesting a special election.

“I went and talked to Kim Sheets at the office, and I found out that those on the ballot weren’t able to be appointed,” Kurka said. “I have been through the appointment [process] before, but I didn’t get it — Phil Miller got it that time. [I knew] someone would have to take the position, if the [petition] didn’t come in for the second election, so I just threw my name in the hat.”

Kurka said he didn’t initially realize that he was the only candidate who applied for the appointment.

“I didn’t find out until Monday night that I was the only one on there,” he said.

The board appointed Kurka Monday night after a question and answer period during a work session at the Administration/Curriculum/Technology Center.

Kurka was the only candidate who applied for the appointment, as those who are currently running for a spot on the board were not permitted to apply for the appointment, because it is too late to withdraw their names from Sept. 12 election ballot.

The petition, which needed to be submitted by today, was submitted Tuesday to the Jefferson County Auditor’s office.

“I received a petition Monday,” Sheets said, adding that there were around 300 names on it.

Kurka will have a chance to run for the seat during a special election, the date of which, will be decided by the county auditor.

“The special election is going to be either Oct. 17 or the 24th; but that’s not my decision, it’s the auditor’s decision,” Sheets said, explaining that it had to be at least 60 days, but less than 70 days from the date “that we published the intent to appoint.”

Kurka said he’s contemplating a run during the special election.

“I am definitely considering that at this time. I’m just waiting to find out all of the details on that,” he said.

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