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A Greenland School Board member who ran unopposed for her seat received no votes in Tuesday's election and therefore wasn't re-elected, according to Washington County Clerk Becky Lewallen.

The board may reappoint Trish Morris to her Zone 7 seat for the year if it so chooses; in that case, Morris would have to run again next year if she wants to complete the unexpired term, according to Lewallen.

One vote shy

Trish Morris isn’t the first Washington County school board candidate to lose her election despite running unopposed. Earl Hunton and Owen McAdoo lost their bids for seats in 2011 on the Lincoln and West Fork boards, respectively, because they failed to garner one vote.

Source: Staff Report

Morris was appointed last fall to fill Greenland's Zone 7 seat, left vacant following the resignation of Deborah Crown. She said Wednesday she wasn't aware she had to vote for herself in order to serve the remaining three years of Crown's term.

Two seats on the Greenland board -- both with unexpired terms -- came up for election this year. Morris was the only person who filed to run for the Zone 7 seat. The Zone 6 seat didn't attract any candidates. The board must appoint someone to the Zone 6 seat as well.

Greenland is a district of about 770 students in south central Washington County. The board consists of seven seats, each representing a particular zone of the district.

It can be difficult to find people willing to commit to serving on a school board, especially in small districts, said Andrea Martin, superintendent of Greenland schools.

"It's been an ongoing issue with these zones. The zones add a different dynamic to it," Martin said. "But they're in place to ensure representation from those areas."

Morris has a child who's a senior at Greenland High School and said she does a lot of volunteer work with the schools, which led her to get involved with the board.

No votes were cast in the Greenland millage election this month, either. Greenland didn't propose any changes to its millage rate, but the state constitution requires each school district to put its millage rate to a vote of the public annually. Whether voters approve or disapprove of it has no effect on the rate.

The only millage rate change proposed in Northwest Arkansas on Tuesday was in the West Fork School District, where the 1-mill increase was approved 113-110.

The increase will be used to help pay for new heating and air conditioning systems at the middle school, music building and elementary school. West Fork was awarded $1.1 million in partnership money from the Arkansas Department of Education that will pay for 68 percent of the system replacement projects, according to information provided on the district's website.

The increase raises West Fork's millage rate to 41.6 and will cost homeowners an additional $20 per year in taxes for every $100,000 in home value.

NW News on 09/21/2017

Print Headline: Unopposed board candidate gets no votes in Greenland

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