Velk, Mihalick re-elected

Incumbents Laura Mihalick and Steven Velk were re-elected to the Minot Public School Board during Tuesday’s election. With 11 precincts reporting, Mihalick had 1,609 votes, and Velk had 1,553 votes. They defeated Chris Baker, who had 592 votes, or 16 percent of the vote, and Lachelle Smith, who had 524 votes, or 15 percent of the vote.

Mihalick is a homemaker and longtime school volunteer and Velk is a retired commercial banker at Bremer Bank and the husband of former school board member Jackie Velk. Both have served on the board during the board’s efforts to pass a bond issue to pay for the new school construction and both have said the ongoing growth in the district remains the biggest issue facing the Minot Public Schools. Both said they ran because they look forward to continuing to serve the Minot Public Schools.

Voters defeated a larger $125 million school bond issue in December but approved the scaled-back $39.5 million bond issue in early April. The bond issue will pay for construction of two new elementary school additions, a new elementary school in southeast Minot and safety and security improvements at all schools. Board members have not ruled out the possibility of seeking additional funding in coming years to pay for new school construction at the middle school and high school level.

Mihalick has served for six years on the board; Velk has served on the board for two years. Both were elected to four-year terms on the board.

They were challenged by Smith and Baker. Baker, who has concerns about the Common Core standards, had pledged if elected to be an “outside voice” on the school board as someone who doesn’t have children or grandchildren attending the Minot Public Schools.

Smith said she ran for the board because of concerns about the schools her children attend. Her major areas of concern were school pick-up and drop-offs and the potential for accidents. She also wants protein included in school snacks.