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12/3/2012 6:01:00 AM
Cave, Francis are Kingman school board finalists
County Superintendent File will decide who fills vacancy

Ahron Sherman
Miner Staff Reporter

Then there were two.

The Kingman Unified school board went behind closed doors Thursday night to interview the top four candidates for the board's vacant seat, which has two years left on a four-year term. Once the interviews were complete, the board slipped into an open session and voted on the candidates they thought best fit the district's needs.

Board members Jeri Brock and Laurie Voss Barthlow voted for Kingman Clerk Debbie Francis. Charles Lucero and Pat Carlin, who attended the meeting via phone, voted for local business owner Jim Cave. Now it's up to Mohave County School Superintendent Mike File to make the decision.

"I'm interviewing both of them Tuesday," File said. He expects to have a decision made by 1 p.m. the same day.

File said he focuses on three main factors when making decisions such as these. What does each candidate bring to the table as far as his or her understanding of the district's budget process? How well does each candidate understand governmental process? And how well does each candidate understand the role of the school board in the community?

"That's what I've looked at for the 13 years I've been charged with appointing board members," he said.

Cave could not be reached for comment because he's spending the weekend hunting with his nephew.

Francis, though she spent 21 years in law enforcement and now works for the city, said she originally went to college to get a degree in elementary education.

"I've always loved education," she said.

Combine that with her thirst for public service and it's easy to see why she decided to submit a letter of interest for the school board's vacancy.

"I enjoyed my interview," she said. "I got to know the board members. It was really nice."

ICT - Kingman Honda
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• Francis picked to fill Kingman school board vacancy

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Reader Comments

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Article comment by: Kingman Resident

Our school administrators are in their own little world. They will choose someone who will rubber stamp all their recommendations. I know....I worked for the district and they don't listen to no one!!

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Article comment by: Kingman Lifer

We need to close these schools down they arenít working any ways. Schools are nothing but blame gamers. They blame the teachers, they blame the parents, they blame the kids, they blame the board, and then ask for more money so they blame the public. Stop pointing your fingers and fix this mess that is what your there for. This board member your about to pit is a replacement who in there right mind would want this because whatever goes wrong the other members will blame the new member.

Posted: Tuesday, December 4, 2012
Article comment by: Erin Cochran

Mr. File,

I am so happy to see that Debbie Francis has decided to put her hat in the ring. With all of the problems the schools are facing she is the perfect candidate. She has been through many, many budget sessions (is frugal in her own department), has a working knowledge of government procedures (she teaches open meeting law training ), a public safety background and always works as a team player to solve problems. She is a huge asset to the city and will be a great asset for the school board. For those concerned with her time, I am sure she has PTO that she will use for the days that require her to be with the board. Just like the rest of us who work full time jobs and give our time to councils, boards and commissions in this community. With three children in the Kingman Unified School District #20, I would be proud to have her representing my family. I fully endorse Mrs. Francis to be appointed to the Kingman Unified School Board.


Erin Cochran
City of Kingman- Councilmember

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Delfina McCabe

I canít believe the current KUSD board didnít do as the voters wanted they should have submitted Kevin Burgessí name for consideration. The two submitted might be good people, but they didn't even take the initiative to run, no matter what their reason was. The voters will remember the school board didnít follow what they wanted the next time they come up for reelection. I bet they will not be voted on to return to the board. Shame on the board members for not submitting Burgessí name to Mike File.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Jim Consolato

Thank you David Michaels for stating the obvious . I don't have kids of school age but the children are the future of America. The school board plays an extremely important role and so do the voters of this school district. It makes all the sense in the world to appoint Burgess. It is almost an insult to do otherwise, sort of like rubbing the noses of the voters in the dirt. This action nullifies 6300 votes and puts it in the hands of just a few.This is an endorsement without voter chosen representation. I would tend to agree friends and popularity are the drivers no matter what hype the public is fed. Besides myself and David Michaels where are the real names of the real voters.Sustaining the dysfunctional pattern of appointments in Mohave County will bring us all down.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Forgot about Cornerstone issue

I agree with Russ.
Mr Cave was very adament about closing Cornerstone Mission, and he did get huffy and resign from a city board. Not sure what his judgement or attitude would be on the school board. Ms Francis is a manager and I assume she could work around what ever is necessary, just like the others on the board who have jobs. My understanding is she is a problem solver.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: For a Better Kingman

My only concern about Debbie Francis, who I think is great, is how will she do her city clerk work if the board is going to require several all day long budget sessions?

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: David Micheals

I can not believe the school board nor Mr. File follow the opinion of the people who elect them. Mr. Burgess was the that should have been appointed to the position. I do not know Mr. Burgess personaly, but have heard he is a stand up person and runs a very succesfull buisness. The 6300 plus votes that he recieved should have said sometihing to the schhol board and Mr. File. SHAME ON THE BOARD AND MR. FILE FOR NOT LISTENING TO THE VOTERS.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Predictable .

None of the 2 chosen ran in the general election. If one wants to be on the school baord they need to attend meetings. Same with city counsel members.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Russ Atkinson

I wonder about Jim's attitude since he was so opposed to Cornerstone Mission and blamed them for anything that happened near his business. (it's on the Council record). He quit the City Planning Commission cause he was mad at the Council for not shutting down Cornerstone.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: just me sittin

PARENT obviiously does not vote. as for me, Debbie, hands on

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Zelda Zilch

Hopefully, they both have some real knowledge of the problems of the District, and will work to solve them!!!

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Good Choice

@Parent of Students
Did you read their qualifications? I know Ms. Francis and she has vast knowledge in government and government budgets. She would be a great asset to this group. She also has knowledge in education and has done training, therefore should have an objective view for all involved. I'm sure Mr. Cave also has good qualifications or he would not have been selected. It is unfortunate that he could not be reached for comment.
I do not believe this will be a popularity vote. Superintendent File said he will make his choice based on understanding of government budgets and government process.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: I'M A PARENT TOO

@ Parent of Students
WOW!! Do you know either of these two finalists? First off, if YOUR students are doing poorly, how is that the fault of the school board? Did you apply for the open position? I have to appologize to the existing board, I honestly thought they would keep Carlin on to complete the unfinished term...I am also honestly glad that they did not. He may have served the school system well, but his time has come to move on...which he already had, missing many of the last years meetings and then calling in by phone for this last meeting.

I think the decision between the two will be difficult becasue they are both excellent choices. I would be honored to have either one...but my vote is for Mrs. Francis.

Posted: Monday, December 3, 2012
Article comment by: Parent of Students

No wonder our students do so poorly, these choices are unacceptable. The performance of this school board is unacceptable. All of these positions in this town are chosen the same way, by popularity, not by what is best for the students. Our students deserve better, we deserve better. Mike File will do what he is told, he is a follower not a leader. Our children will be the ones to lose here.

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