May 4, 2019 — The City Club of Florence held its monthly meeting on May 2 at Ocean Dunes Golf Links. The guests for the meeting were candidates for open positions on the Lane Community College (LCC), Lane Educational Service District (ESD) and Siuslaw School District (SSD) Board of Directors.
The forum, moderated by Maureen Miltenberger, gave candidates the opportunity to introduce themselves to those in attendance and to the larger community before the May 21 Special Election.
On the SSD board, Bob Sneddon and Dennis King are running unopposed for positions after accepting recent interim appointments to the board. Each candidate made brief statements recapping relevant experience and community connections.
Sneddon highlighted his extensive connections to the area and his desire to follow in the footsteps of his brother and father, both of whom served on the SSD Board.
King pointed to his experience as a teacher and his administrative certifications as strengths he brings to the race.
Current SSD board member Bill McDougle is facing a challenge from Dianna Pimlot for Position 7 and provided some background to attendees regarding his previous work as an educator. McDougle highlighted both his time as a vice principal and former school board director as experience that separates him from his opponent.
Pimlot did not participate in Thursdays’ candidate forum.
For Lane ESD, Nora Kent is running against Mark Boren for Director Position 4, and both candidates were in attendance.
Kent spoke of her work as an instructor at LCC and as a community organizer.
Boren focused on his work as a Lane Fire Authority training officer and an educational assistant for Lane ESD. Boren is retired and is currently the board chairperson for the Fern Ridge School District.
Both candidates vying for the LCC Director Position 7, Lisa Fragala and Stefan Galen Strek, attended the forum and presented their experience and goals to the 25 or so community members at the meeting.
Strek portrayed himself as “a different type of candidate,” citing his unorthodox educational path as the reason he is best qualified to sit as a director.
“LCC is a fantastic learning environment where I had the opportunity to attend for a full eight years. I am one of the most non-traditional students you could ever meet,” Strek said.
He continued with a brief description of his time as an exchange student in France and his previous attempts to capture a congressional seat and the mayoral position for Eugene.
Fragala attended LCC and is currently an educator in the 4J School District and spoke of her childhood and her difficult path to become a teacher. She also shared her love of teaching and the work involved in providing all students with the opportunity to receive a quality education.
“Ultimately, access to a robust education made the difference in my life and allowed me to stand here with you today,” Fragala said. “As a young adult I attended LCC and pursued my dream of becoming a teacher. That course work was pivotal in building my self-confidence … and for 25 years I have worked with children to support the vision of education as a pathway too success.”
Ballots for the 2019 Special Election have been mailed out and should be received by Lane County residents by May 8. Ballots must be turned in by mail, drop box or to the Lane County Elections Office in Eugene by 8 p.m. on Tuesday, May 21.