Morris defeats Freehling in ES school board election

Friday, September 21, 2012

Tuesday's countywide school board elections resulted in a shift in Eureka Springs, where School Board Vice President Tom Freehling was defeated by fireman and paramedic Jason Morris.

Freehling had served in the Position Four seat on the board since 2009.

"It was a small voter turnout," Morris said. "A lot of people I spoke to had forgotten it was election day yesterday, but I'm happy with the results obviously."

Morris received 54.78 percent of ballots cast, winning by a handful of votes.

He said his first step is to get his feet on the ground, to "get in and get accustomed to what's going on.

"Hopefully, we can evaluate where we're standing with the funding lawsuit with the state and what our next move is going to be."

He added issues he wants to address include teachers' stipends. "I want to look at getting teachers their stipends back so they can buy more supplies for their classrooms," he said.

Morris said feedback he'd received from residents while running included "folks are saying they're tired of illegal meetings, and of the press not being notified, and tired of nobody knowing what's going on with the school board and the public not being able to participate in the meetings. That's one of the things we've got to change immediately," he added.

Morris will be sworn as soon as election results are certified and expects to participate in his first school board meeting next month.

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