Link to Owner Dr. Robert B. Pamplin Jr.



Seats on boards governing schools, fire districts, the port and more will appear on the May 18 ballot.

PMG FILE PHOTO - Chris Iverson, one of the Port of Columbia County commissioners whose current term ends this year, listens at a 2019 meeting.The candidate filing periods have opened for positions on the boards of more than a dozen special districts in Columbia County.

Two positions on the Port of Columbia County's board of commissioners will be on the May 18 ballot. Those positions are 4 and 5, which are currently held by Robert Keyser and Chris Iverson, respectively.

Keyser served on the port commission from 2004 to 2015, when he was narrowly beaten by Paulette Lichatowich. He ran again in 2017 for a different seat and won by just 124 votes.

Iverson has also served on the board for more than a decade.

The school boards in Scappoose and St. Helens both have three seats up for election.

In Scappoose, candidates must run for positions based on where they live. This year, zones 3, 4 and 5 are up for election. Zone 3 is currently held by Lisa Maloney, who was most recently re-elected in 2017 in a four-way race. Philip Lager is the board member for zone 4 and Tim Brooks represents zone 5.

Brooks, who was first elected in 2017, and Maloney, who was first elected in 2013, have been outspoken, socially conservative members of the seven-seat board.

In St. Helens, two of the board members whose terms end this year ran unopposed in 2017.

Kellie Smith, Jeff Howell and Trinity Monahan each ran in 2017, but Howell left his position the following year when he moved out of the district.

Ryan Scholl was appointed to fill Howell's seat. The following year, voters approved keeping Scholl in the position for the remainder of the term. Smith is completing her second term, while Monahan is completing his first.

In the Scappoose Library District, every board election in the past decade has been uncontested or had no candidates file to run. Two positions are up for election in May.

The Greater St. Helens Aquatic District has three positions serving four-year terms on the ballot.

Fire districts across the county are also overseen by boards. The Scappoose Fire District has four positions up for election, two of which are for two-year terms and two of which are for four-year terms. Board elections in the Scappoose and Columbia River fire districts are frequently unopposed. Columbia River Fire & Rescue has two four-year terms on the ballot.

The rural fire protection districts in Clatskanie, Vernonia and Mist-Birkenfeld also have openings, as do the school districts in Clatskanie, Vernonia and Rainier.

The candidate filing period opened Feb. 8. Candidates have until March 18 to file with the county clerk.

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