NEWS HEADLINES

Pewitt gets one board seat, other remains empty

By Jimmy Alford | Published Saturday, November 16, 2013

After 10 years of volunteering his time with the Paradise Athletic Booster Club, Ronnie Pewitt threw his hat in the ring for school board – and won.

NEWLY ELECTED – Ronnie Pewitt will be sworn in as Paradise ISD’s newest board member. He takes over Place 7 after defeating Lonnie Holder in the Nov. 5 election. Messenger photo by Joe Duty

Pewitt defeated Place 7 incumbent Lonnie Holder 248 votes to 145 and will be sworn into office 6:30 p.m. Monday during PISD’s regular board meeting.

“I’ve always wanted to be on the school board,” Pewitt said. “My wife has been the school nurse for 13 years, and both my boys go here.”

The Pewitts lived in Bridgeport until last year but decided to move after a shift in Pewitt’s job.

He is the safety man for Kyle and Erwin Construction, an oilfield construction company with offices in Rhome and Snyder. Before that, Pewitt spent 24 years at a fuel company, where he worked his way up from sweeping the floors to upper management.

The experience of making crucial decisions, along with being involved in hiring and dismissal processes, will prove valuable as a board member, Pewitt hopes.

“There’s a lot I won’t know or understand at first, being the new guy,” Pewitt said.

He is required to attend training courses, including a three-hour session in December in Fort Worth.

Pewitt’s family isn’t unfamiliar with school boards. His grandfather, Bud Collier, was a trustee for Chico ISD during the 1960s.

“He really seemed to enjoy it. He talked about it a lot,” Pewitt said.

PLACE 6 STILL UP FOR GRABS

The superintendent’s office confirmed Friday that PISD will have a second election to decide the winner of Place 6 on the board. The spot will go to either Ben Sanders or Bill Mundy.

After provisional ballots were counted this week, Sanders and Mundy were tied. Up to that point, Mundy had led Sanders by a single vote based on early and regular ballots.

Superintendent Monty Chapman said the district’s policy is to hold a second election in the case of a tie. State code allows the candidates to choose between a second election and a variety of other methods, such as drawing lots, to determine a winner.

Wise County Elections Administrator Lannie Noble said the district would have to rent the county’s equipment and create a new ballot. This will cost PISD about $1,000 if it chooses to use its own staff and volunteers and not hire county workers to run the election.

WASTEWATER CONCERNS

Chapman said the board also needs to discuss an immediate temporary solution to quality control issues that have cropped up recently at the district’s wastewater treatment facility.

In the course of regular testing, chlorine level spikes have been discovered, which puts the facility out of compliance with state regulations. Chapman said the district would need to come up with a solution quickly to get back into compliance.

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