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School district, parks board seats to be decided in May along with several water board positions

The 2021 special district election slate is set in Crook County.

A total of 34 board positions in 12 special districts are up for grabs on May 18, including Crook County's School District, Fire and Rescue District, Parks and Recreation District, and Cemetery District as well as five local water districts. In addition, some Crook County voters will determine who is elected to the Central Oregon Community College, Redmond Fire and Rescue, and Alfalfa Fire District boards.

Most of the candidates in the election will run unopposed, although four races on the slate will feature two candidates. Joe Becker and Ruthie McKenzie face each other for Position 1 on the Crook County Parks and Recreation District board. Mary Scrocca is running against Fredrick Dahike for Position 5 of the Ochoco West Water and Sanitary Authority. In addition, Jessica Meyer and Carrol McIntosh are running for Position 5 on the Redmond Fire and Rescue board, and John Brooks is facing Mark Laucks in the race for Position 1 on the Alfalfa Fire District board.

Unopposed candidates for the Crook County Fire and Rescue board include George Ponte, Steve Lent and Dennis Merrill. Running without opposition on the Crook County Parks and Recreation board are Darlene Henderson and Barbara Punch, while Dar Fishel and James Wood face no competition for seats on the Crook County Cemetery District board.

The Highland Subdivision Water District includes unopposed candidates Wayne Rice, Larry Scheffler, George Stuart and Richard Davis. The Jasper Knolls Water District candidate list features Robert McDaniel, and Ron and Beverly Jones-Stanley, all of whom are running unopposed. Robert Lane, Daniel Fenderson and David Pepper have no competition for seats on the Jordan Water Control District board and the same can be said for Juniper Canyon Water Control District candidates, Penny Lee Dick and Mike Brickley. In addition, Richard Lopez, Shawn Perschel and Jo-Ann Horton have a clear path to win seats on the Ochoco West Water and Sanitary Authority.

Laura Craska Cooper is seeking re-election to Zone 2 of the Central Oregon Community College board, and her husband, Scott Cooper, is seeking another term to represent Zone 2 of the Crook County School Board. Gwen Carr is running unopposed for the at-large Zone 5 position.

Those school board positions were initially the only ones up for election in 2021, but the recent resignation of school board member Walt Wagner created an opening to represent Zone 4. Jessica Ritter is the lone candidate for the position.

According to Crook County Clerk Cheryl Seely, the turnout for special district elections is historically low. Most recently, the voter turnout was about 18% in 2017 and 19% in 2019.

The last day to register to vote for the 2021 election is April 27. Ballots will be mailed to local voters on April 28 and the election will take place on May 18.

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