Incumbent Andy Fanta, former Trustee Linda Horne win Ypsilanti School Board race
Incumbent Trustee Andy Fanta and former Trustee Linda Horne won seats on the Ypsilanti Public School Board. They beat out Eric Temple.
Unofficial results have Fanta winning 35.17 percent of the tally with 1,097 votes. Horne received 1,038 ballots, or 33.28 percent of the vote.
Temple received 782 votes, or 25.07 percent of the total. A write-in candidate won 6.48 percent of the vote.
Horne previously served on the Ypsilanti School Board from 2006 to 2010 before narrowly losing her re-election bid. She said she decided to run again a year later because she felt there is still unfinished business.
"I think there is still is a lot of work to be done in the Ypsilanti Public School District and I wanted to be a part of Ypsilanti Schools moving forward and doing a lot of good things," she said.
Horne added that her prior experience likely gave her an advantage in the election.
"I think a lot of voters had an opportunity to get to know me from 2006 to 2010 and I think they know I can be an asset to the district," she said.
Horne said the failing high school is one of the district’s most pressing issues and said the board must closely monitor the school improvement plan it implemented this year.
YPS’s biggest challenges are financial. The district is still working its way through a state-mandated deficit elimination plan as it tries to eliminate a $4 million budget shortfall.
The district has closed several buildings, unions have made significant concessions and transportation responsibilities were handed over the Washtenaw Intermediate School District.
Horne said she would like to see the district work more closely with the unions, staff, students and community to help develop ideas for resolving budget problems. She also said the board needs to immediately move forward in consolidating services with Willow Run.
Fanta was the lone incumbent among the candidates. He campaigned on his ability to play an oversight role on the board and has often stood opposite the majority of the board on issues like changes to transportation and school closings.
Fanta said the district needs to repurpose the shuttered schools, and he listed protecting the rights of the district’s unions as one of his priorities as the YPS continues to pare down its deficit and rethink the way it delivers an education.
“I take seriously my role of providing a sense of vision and oversight,” he previously said.
He also said there is little school districts can do about their financial situation until the system is fixed at the state level, but he highlighted the programming at New Tech High School as one which can attract students.
Temple was appointed to the Ypsilanti School Board in 2007 and said his work as an administrator with the Ypsilanti Housing Commission prevented him from campaigning as much as he would have liked in recent months.