NWACC Board filing period ends Aug. 17

by The City Wire staff ([email protected]) 97 views 

With the possibility of a new U.S. president being elected this November, most public attention is on the national race. On a more local scale, there will be a major change to the NorthWest Arkansas Community College Board of Trustees.

All nine of the NWACC Board positions will be up for election in November because according to the 2010 U.S. Census, the NWACC district is 17% Hispanic.  According to state law, any district with at least a 10% minority population must be elected by zones rather than at-large positions. NWACC’s voter district is made up of the Bentonville and Rogers school districts.

Anyone interested in filing for a position must file a statement of candidacy with the Benton County Clerk’s Office, as well as a petition containing at least 50 signatures from qualified voters in the candidate’s district. The forms and petitions are available at the Clerk’s office, 215 E. Central Ave., room 217, in Bentonville. There is a $3 ballot fee.

The petition and statement of candidacy must be notarized and filed with the Clerk’s office no later than noon on Aug. 17.

Until now, the college’s board has consisted of nine at-large positions – three from the Bentonville School District and six from the Rogers School District. The new zones, which were approved by the NWACC Board July 14 and the Benton County Election Commission July 18, splits the entire NWACC district into nine zones.

The zones attempt to follow the Bentonville and Rogers school district zones as closely as possible, said Jim Hall, NWACC Executive Director for Community and Government Relations. There will be four in the Bentonville district and five in the Rogers district. The Rogers School Board has been elected by zone for the same reason for several years and the Bentonville School District is going through a similar rezoning process, Hall said.

According to information from the July 14 NWACC Board meeting, there are approximately 17,300 people in each of the nine zones, with a variance of about 3%. Six current board members plan to file for election in their respective zones:

Zone 1: Randy Lawson
Zone 2: Johnny Haney
Zone 3: Mike Shupe
Zone 4: (Open)
Zone 5: Hadley Hindmarsh
Zone 6: Ric Clifford
Zone 7: (Open)
Zone 8: (Open)
Zone 9: Joe Spivey

Zones 7, 8, and 9 have the highest Hispanic populations at 30%, 28% and 34%, respectively.

Four of the state’s 22 community colleges have elected boards. The other three are Rich Mountain Community College, North Arkansas Community College and National Park Community College.

NWACC’s board elections have traditionally been in September, at the same time as the state’s school board elections. An aspect of the law dictates that this election that is redesigning the board must be during the general November election.