Erik Wallbank's failed bid for the a seat on the Ashland School Board may in the end be a step forward. The race between he and Keith Massie opened communication between the two, perhaps making way for future work together.




Unofficial votes Wednesday morning for Position 5 tallied 3,427 votes, 54.03 percent, for Massie, and 2,868 votes, 45.22 percent of the vote, for Wallbank.




While both candidates expressed goals for the direction in which they hope the school board will go, neither expressed antipathy toward the other.




Wallbank still hopes his vision for a school lunch program that consists of healthier, nutritious food to students can gain a foothold in the school system. Wallbank will look to the school board, and Massie, to help bring it to reality.




"To change something like the school lunch program, I think the impetus needs to come from above," he said. "If you spend a lot of time on something like that and each school opts out (from a pilot program), I think you really need to have the impetus coming from the superintendent and the school board."




As election results were being tallied, both were involved in the normal course of work. On Monday, Wallbank was in Lakeview on his way to Ontario.




If he won, he said, "There'll be a little bit of relief &

it's a big job &

there'd be about 20 percent relief and about 80 percent disappointment. If I win, it will be with a big sigh of commitment."




Massie, also was out of town Tuesday for job-related meetings in Portland, but was back Tuesday evening and reading at home with his family. Though pleased with his victory, he was gloomy about the failing library levy.




Massie said that through the last month of campaigning he'd learned a lot about the school district from talking to many of the parents, teachers and administrators in the district. Despite all that he has learned, he said he realizes there is still a lot more to learn.




He's shares Walbank's interest in a better lunch program, but mentioned that one of the things he's learned is that one of the issues involved in changing the program is liability insurance, which most small farmers don't have.




"That right there is a barrier. The next step is to find out more details," he said. "But just because it requires a large insurance policy doesn't mean it can't happen. Maybe the small farmers can band together."




Massie also talked about the need to prioritize in the budget &

with being behind in textbooks and old buses needing upgrades and numerous other things the district needs &

and said he's not afraid to do that.