BLACKFOOT — There are two candidates for the Blackfoot School Board Zone 3 trustee. Elections will be May 17. Bingham County will be running the elections and electors will vote in their regular precinct location from 8 a.m.-8 p.m.
R. Scott Reese, who was appointed to fill the Zone 3 position in January, is running against Marilyn R. Cottam.
Reese served as the mayor of Blackfoot for 12 years and has been employed at Bingham Memorial Hospital in employer relations for five years. He is the chairman of the Blackfoot Urban Renewal Agency and vice chairman of the Bingham Economic Development Corporation.
He was previously the state chairman of the Employer Support of the Guard and Reserve for six years and remains involved with the organization.
Much of his career has been in public service and he is no stranger to education. His parents both made careers as educators in the Blackfoot School District and he said he is very familiar with the school district system.
Reese believes his experience has provided him with the knowledge to help get the district through tough budget cuts. He also believes he can help rebuild the district's relationship with the community.
"I truly believe I have the ability to help us achieve better results than we've had in the past," Reese said, citing issues at the high school.
"I'm concerned about the budget cuts and how it's going to affect us," Reese said. "I think I can bring some experience to the budget process."
Reese has four grandchildren attending schools in the district.
Marilyn Cottam is running against Reese for the Zone 3 seat.
Cottam has lived in Blackfoot for 20 years and all five of her children have gone through the Blackfoot School District. Over the years she has been involved in the Boy Scouts and has directed children's plays at the Nuart Theatre. She was also involved when the additions were made to Stalker Elementary.
Cottam said she is running for the trustee position to ensure the protection of the "little guys." She said he is running for school board because her sons were bullied when they were in school and it is frustrating to see that bullying is allowed to continue.
"I promise to do whatever I can to protect the little guys," Cottam said. "I know the influence that one person on the school board can make."
She also wants to ensure programs like auto mechanics, band and choir continue and are equal to sports so students who don't play sports can still be involved.
She plans to spend several hours each week visiting classrooms and schools and said she wants to ensure administrators at the school are fair and looks out for all the students. He goal is to make sure that every student has at least one adult at their school they can trust.