Although he was defeated in Tuesday’s election, Steve Guthrie will remain chairman of the Blaine County School District board of trustees until the board’s annual meeting on July 9. That’s when Kathy Baker will be sworn in as a new trustee and the board will elect a new chair.
In the district’s Zone 2 election, Baker, a newcomer to School District politics, received 248 votes compared to 171 for Guthrie.
Baker issued the following written statement to the Idaho Mountain Express on Wednesday:
“First, I would like to thank Steve Guthrie for serving our community for the past four years. I am honored to have been elected and I’m excited for the opportunity to work for the people, and especially the students of Blaine County. I want to thank everyone who supported me and made this possible through all their hard work. I look forward to getting down to business in July.”
Guthrie was elected to the school board in 2009. He won a three-way race for the Zone 2 trustee position, defeating attorney Jim Laski and incumbent Trustee Kim Nilsen.
Guthrie was elected board chairman in 2011, replacing then-Chair Julie Dahlgren who chose not to run for re-election.
In the campaign, Guthrie was criticized by Baker supporters for the massive construction work that’s been going on in the district for the past several years, for what was described as high expenditures for administration salaries, and for litigation that started in 2012 between the School District and its energy contractor McKinstry Essention.
He was praised by supporters for providing solid leadership, for working toward increasing public information and public involvement in district affairs, and for establishing good working relationships with other government officials, both locally and statewide.
Guthrie frequently said that “kids come first, that’s what it’s all about.”
He provided the following written statement to the Express on Thursday:
“I have thoroughly enjoyed my four-year term of public service and am proud of what the board has accomplished during this period of time. In the course of my term, I have had the opportunity to foster professional relationships with district board members, administrators, teachers, support staff and students.
“I consider these incredible people as friends and my extended family. I leave knowing that the Blaine County School District is in very good hands.
“My intent is to stay active in BCSD affairs and to remain as the positive voice and advocate for BCSD education. Blaine County children are able to attend the best schools in the state of Idaho. They are provided with a mountain of opportunities that will prepare them for the world of adulthood. I would like to thank our community for its continued support of education.”
Terry Smith: firstname.lastname@example.org