It’s Drost and Stream

Tom Richardson congratulates Lynette Stream on being elected to the Oskaloosa School Board.

Tom Richardson congratulates Lynette Stream on being elected to the Oskaloosa School Board. (photo by Charlie Comfort)

by Charlie Comfort

OSKALOOSA, IOWA- History repeated itself Tuesday as voters selected a challenger over the incumbent board president; the third election in a row that a sitting board president has been challenged. Voters gave the nod to Lynette Stream, a concerned parent, over incumbent Tom Richardson in the District 5 seat. Unofficially, Stream pulled 564 votes to Richardson’s 499 votes. Stream was visibly excited at the Mahaska County Courthouse Tuesday evening after the results were announced. Stream said that she is humbled to have the support of voters. She said her next steps are to learn the inner workings of the board.

“My next steps are to get lots of knowledge. I know I have lots to learn,” Stream said.

Stream believed she was successful in the election by listening to the voters.

“I think my campaign was successful because I listened to people, listened to their hearts and made people feel valued and heard,” Stream said.

She also said that she believes her message on student discipline and achievement in the district, as well as her experience advocating for changes to be made in the district, resonated well with the voters.

“We’ve made great strides in that, but still that’s something that people are concerned about,” she said.

For his part, district 5 incumbent Tom Richardson was not at the courthouse Tuesday evening when results were initially announced, due to the regular Oskaloosa School Board meeting. Richardson arrived shortly after the vote results announcement and congratulated Stream.

“Congratulations to you, Lynette. Hope it works out well for you,” Richardson was heard saying to Stream.

Richardson did not make any other statements before leaving the courthouse. Richardson has served on the board since 2011. He ran unopposed and was elected to a four-year term in director district 6, however, was forced to run again in 2013 after once a decade redistricting put him in director district 5. Richardson again ran unopposed in 2013. Richardson’s defeat Tuesday is the third time in four elections that the sitting board president has been defeated for re-election. Board presidents Don Patterson and Susan Boxler were challenged in 2011 and 2013, respectively, and were both defeated.

Also earning re-election Tuesday evening was incumbent Carl Drost, defeating challenger Kym Life in a nailbiter. Drost received 611 votes to Life’s 472 votes.

Drost and Drost’s challenger, Kym Life, were not at the courthouse Tuesday evening and could not be reached by press time for comment on the results.

Running unopposed for re-election in director district 2 was Shelly Herr, who received 882 votes.

Results from Tuesday’s school board election will be unofficial until canvassed by the Board of Supervisors on Friday.

Voter turnout in Tuesday’s election was the highest since the 2005 election that saw over 1,300 votes cast. Nearly 1,100 votes were tallied on Tuesday. In the 2011 vote, over 750 ballots were cast. In 2013, around 900 votes were cast. Voter turnout dramatically dropped in 2015, as only around 275 votes were cast.

Drost and Stream will take their oaths of office at the next regular school board meeting, where a new board president will also be elected.

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Posted by on Sep 12 2017. Filed under Local News. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0. Both comments and pings are currently closed.

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