Can local school boards impose term limits?
Dennis Gorman of Schmiedeskamp, Robertson, Neu and Mitchell serves as the attorney for the Quincy School District, and he says it would take a state statute to create those limits, and school boards don't have the power to impose them on themselves.
"Years ago, a number of districts had informal agreements that it was two terms and out, but they weren't enforceable by law," Gorman said. "I hate to think I'm the district historian, but in my recollection, those were all strictly informal.
"The state legislature would have to do something, and since they're not real prone to limiting their own terms, it's not likely to happen."
Stephanie Erwin and Scott Stone were elected to their first four-year terms in 2011. Steven Krause was elected to his first four-year term in 2009 and has chosen not to run for re-election. Jeff Mays was first elected in 2007 and is in the middle of his second term. Bill Daniels is completing his third term and is not running for re-election.
Bud Niekamp was first elected to the board in 1989 and was elected to subsequent terms in 1993, 1997, 2001, 2005 and 2009. The board declared Niekamp's seat vacant on April 21, 2011 after a lengthy court battle over a seat he simultaneously held (and subsequently left) on the Adams County Board, but on that same day, he accepted a new four-year term he was elected to in 2011.
Tom Dickerson was elected to two four-year terms, and after he failed to win re-election in 2011, he was appointed to fill Niekamp's vacancy. He is not running for another term.
As I drove through the intersection of 36th and Harrison recently at 5 p.m., a busy time of the day, two pedestrians already were standing in the crosswalk, having just stepped off the curb. There was a lot of traffic from both directions, and it was moving rather fast. I was headed south, making a right turn. The pedestrians were headed east within the crosswalk just off the curb on the northwest corner of the intersection. Had I stopped quickly, it would have caused problems from behind, so I kept going, but I still didn't feel good about the safety of the pedestrians. In this much more rural area with a faster speed limit, does the pedestrian still have the right-of-way within the crosswalk?
In the case of intersections with traffic control signals, such as 36th and Harrison, Quincy Police Chief Rob Copley says pedestrians have the right of way if they are in the crosswalk and are crossing with the light. If there are no traffic control signals at an intersection with marked crosswalks, the pedestrian has the right of way while crossing in the crosswalk.
Since I do so much driving daily to and from schools, I've been concerned with the number of kids who are walking in the streets because sidewalks are not clear of snow. It seems so dangerous. Some of these streets are busy, such as Maine, 36th Street and 30th Street. Are residents compelled to keep their sidewalks clear?
Copley says the city has no way to compel property owners to remove snow from sidewalks, not even where children are walking to and from school.
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