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Cathcart resigns school board seat
Voters in central Kitsap will have one more school board seat to decide in November's election. Christy Cathcart, district four director, announced her resignation at Wednesday's meeting, effective 12:01 a.m. the next morning.
Her announcement came as a surprise to everyone in the room, including the rest of the school board, whom Cathcart said she did not inform of her plans prior to the meeting.
During the "miscellaneous" agenda item at the end of the meeting, Cathcart declared she had an item to raise and proceeded to read a prepared statement to the board and gathered community members.
"In November 2011 I was elected for a fourth term despite opposition," she began. "At that time I made a covenant with the community, the owners of this school district, to continue to work hard and serve them to the best of my ability for four years. For reasons I will explain I will not be able to fulfill that promise."
Cathcart said she and her husband, Bob, will move to Connecticut in the near future, most likely some time this summer, in order to be closer to their son's family. Cathcart's son, Justin, and his wife gave birth to their first child, a boy named Owen, in March.
Owen turned two weeks old the day before the meeting.
Cathcart and her husband had known for a while that they planned to move to Connecticut, she said, but had originally thought the move would not take place until after the 2015 election.
"There's a little guy named Owen and we don't want to miss out on things," Cathcart said. "We don't want to be the long distance grandparents."
Cathcart has been serving on the board since 1999. She was elected to her fourth term in November 2011. Her district comprises the Highway 3 corridor north of Highway 303.
The timing of her resignation was done deliberately to ensure her seat would be vacant for the upcoming election, Cathcart said. By resigning now, she said she hoped to give possible district four candidates time to consider the position and meet the filing deadline.
"I believe strongly that the voters of the Central Kitsap School District should elect their representatives to this board…" Cathcart said. "That's very critical to me."
If Cathcart had resigned after the election filing period in May, the remaining board members would have appointed a replacement for the remainder of her four year term — which would have equated to about two years.
As it stands, the board will still appoint an interim member in her place. However, that interim member will have to file and run for re-election this November, instead of in 2015.
"They (the public) may choose to support the appointed interim candidate or they may not," Cathcart said. "The critical point is that the electorate will decide, not the majority of this board."
As Cathcart neared the end of her letter, she addressed the work she has witnessed of staff and community members in the district during her time here. When she talked about the teachers and students Cathcart appeared slightly to choke up.
Her focus on the people of her district continued to her final action, as she closed her letter with a thank you to the community for support and the opportunity to have served.
Board policy states that the board vote to accept a member's resignation at the following meeting. Board President Mark Gaines moved to amend the policy to accept Cathcart's resignation before the close of the night's meeting.
The board approved the resignation unanimously as its last action of the night, before going into executive session — without former member Cathcart, as she happily pointed out.
Filing for candidacy
The deadline to file candidacy for all three upcoming school board elections is May 17. On the ballot with the district four seat will be two other positions that were regularly scheduled to come up for reelection.
District one, held by Bruce Richards, and district five, held by Eric Greene are scheduled to appear on the ballot. Both Richards and Greene have said they plan to run for re-election.
Elections for the seats will take place on Nov. 5. Filing is done through the Kitsap County Auditor's election's office.
Declarations may be dropped off in person between May 13 and 17 or mailed starting April 29. All declarations must be filed by May 17 at 5 p.m. to be eligible.
Candidates must reside in the area for which they apply to run. If more than two candidates apply for a single position a primary election will take place in August.