Two incumbent School Board members file to run for re-election this year

skinney@keynoter.comApril 5, 2014 

Incumbent Monroe County School Board members John Dick and Ron Martin have filed paperwork this week to run for re-election this year.

Dick, the District 3 Middle Keys member, is serving his second four-year term. He filed paperwork with the Monroe County Supervisor of Election's Office on Wednesday and has yet to draw a challenger.

"The board still has got some unfinished work to do. Hopefully we can go back to funding increases and continue back to raising the salaries for employees," he said. "We've got to keep continuing to improve the education for the students and try to bring in the best [teachers] we can and pay them the best we can."

The School District and United Teachers of Monroe are stuck at an impasse in contract talks and the federal magistrate has stepped in to mediate.

Board Chairman Ron Martin, a retired principal of Coral Shores High School in Tavernier, filed to run for his second term, also on Wednesday. He said resolving the issues with UTM is a priority.

"I want to get this thing settled and keep on track with that in the years to come. The teachers don't need it and the School District doesn't need it. I'm hoping that we'll be able to work through this and carry forward," he said.

Martin, representing District 5 in the Upper Keys, said he's pleased with the leadership of Superintendent Mark Porter. "I'm very satisfied with what he's doing right. I'm a supporter of Mark."

Retired teacher Dennis Caltagirone has also filed for the Upper Keys board seat.

In District 1, Robin Smith-Martin will not seek re-election to the Key West seat. Stuart Kessler, an appointed member of the district's Audit and Finance Committee, and caterer Warren Leamard have filed paperwork to run in District 1.

The primary election is set for Aug. 26 with the general election on Nov. 4. School Board races are nonpartisan, meaning the top vote getter can win in the primary.

If there are three candidates, unless one gets more than 50 percent plus one vote in the primary, the top two vote getters go to a November runoff.

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