HUBER HEIGHTS — Huber Heights City Schools (HHCS) Board of Education member Anita Brock loves her role as a board member, so she was shocked when she recently learned that the Montgomery County Board of Elections did not certify her candidacy due to being short of the needed petition signatures.
“It’s heart breaking,” said Brock.
She collected 91 signatures as she needed 75, but only 72 were validated by the Board of Elections. According to the Board of Elections, some signatures were not genuine, which could indicate a person printed their name on the petition instead of signing it as they would sign when they visit the polls. Another reason could be that the petition signer did not reside in the HHCS district. The circulator of a part-petition also cannot sign the part-petition that they are circulating. For some, the address on the petition did not match the registered address of the petition signer.
“In the past, I’ve always turned in 100 signatures and this time I turned in 91 and I was three short,” said Brock. “So, I take full responsibility for it. It’s a hard lesson to learn. I enjoyed being on the board. It’s was hard to know that it was me — that I failed to have more signatures that caused this.”
Brock said she still plans on being a part of the community, the school district and supporting the kids, the staff, the board and their decisions.
“I’m not going away,” she said.
She indicated that she could run for the board in a couple of years.
“I do enjoy it,” she said.
When her term expires on Dec. 31, Brock said she will miss the students, staff and efforts to change the way the state funds schools. She said she will miss being an advocate for public education and not charter schools as a board member.
“I can’t stop now, there’s still fight left to get the state to put some things right,” she said.
Brock said she was proud of being a part of building the new schools before, during and after completion.
“I’m proud that we faced hard times with the cuts, but we’re just now making a comeback and start building it up again,” she said. “So, I’m proud that we’ve weathered the storm. I’m proud of a board that we’re all so different, but when it comes down to the kids in our district, as a whole we seem to come together and do what’s best for the students. As different as we are, we still have that in the forefront. I’m proud to be a part of that board.”
Brock cannot pursue write-in status as board of elections cannot accept for filing the declaration of intent to be a write-in candidate if that person, for the same election, had already filed a declaration of candidacy or a nominating petitition.
HHCS Superintendent Susan Gunnell said that Brock has been a very involved board member “and very passionate about the success of the children in Huber Heights City Schools, as all the board members are. We’re very fortunate to have such a strong board team that are committed to the success of the kids in Huber Heights City Schools.”
Gunnell said that Brock during the last 18 months has represented the board on one of the Strategic Plan sub-committees. Last year she was one of three board members, along with Kelly Bledsoe and Mark Combs, former HHCS Treasurer Ann Bernardo and Gunnell who served on the Board Policy Review Committee, working with the Ohio School Boards Association to review the entire HHCS board policy manual. This involved 380 policies that were read individually from October to June to make sure they were updated and then approved by the board as a whole in May.
Gunnell also said that Brock was very active in school activities and “being visible as a board member” and cited her passion.
Two residents were certified for two Board of Education seats for the election which will be held on Tuesday, Nov. 3. They are G. Michael Miller and Krista R. Tipton.
The Huber Heights City Council races feature incumbent Jan Vargo against Glenn T. Otto in the Council At-Large race; incumbent Lu Dale against Richard E. Shaw Jr. in Ward One; incumbent Karen J. Kaleps against Janell Smith in Ward Two and incumbent Edward W. Lyons against Richard Stan in Ward Six.
Reach Greg Smart at 937-236-4990, ext. 2542 or on Twitter @HH_Courier.com.