Clarinda School Board member Darin Sunderman is used to seeing his name on a ballot.
He plans to put his name on the ballot for Page County Board of Supervisor District 1. He made his announcement to run at his caucus on Monday, Feb. 3.
Sunderman said the timing was right to run.
“I wasn’t sure,” he said after the caucus. “As we got closer to where we are now, (supervisor) Jon (Herzberg) has definitely said he’s not going to run. In December, the school decision was made for Chris (Bergman) to go from interim superintendent to a contract. That gave me some security and put me at ease that the school has found some long term leadership and stability.”
Herzberg has had the supervisor seat since the 2004 election and will not run again. The seat represents virtually the entire rural portion of the county. The other two supervisors represent the cities of Clarinda and Shenandoah, respectively.
Sunderman was first elected to the Clarinda School Board in 2011 and was re-elected for a third four-year term last November. If he wins the supervisor seat Nov. 3, he won’t give up the school board.
Sunderman wanted to run for another school board term after seeing what happened to the district in the past 10 months. Board member Nola Bond left her seat and Superintendent Deron Stender resigned for the same position in Creston.
“At that point I felt like I needed to run for school board for stability. Part of it is timing and sometimes you don’t have much choice in the circumstances and the things that happened,” Sunderman said.
Clarinda School Board members are reviewing proposals for significant building improvements and remodeling across the district. Asking voters for a bond issue to pay for it is possible.
“We do want to do some facility work. Things are getting rolling. Chris is here. We will get things moving,” Sunderman said.
If elected, Sunderman will resign from the county environmental health position he has had since 2017.
Not knowing what surprises may happen as a supervisor, Sunderman does not think there will be significant conflicts being on both boards, if elected.
“A majority of the supervisor meetings are held in the day. There will be occasional evening meetings. And I farm, too. I don’t think it will create an overlap. I think the experience of doing those things in the past will help me manage if I’m successful running for the board of supervisors,” he said.
Supervisors represent the county on various committees that meet in Council Bluffs, Creston and other locations. Some meetings are held through a conference telephone call. Supervisors choose those committees in January.
“There might have to be some give and take,” he said.
Sunderman’s research shows the school budget and the county budget do not have any potential conflict of interest. He said he knows of two other Iowa county supervisors who are also on a school board.
Sunderman isn’t alone. Jacob Holmes also announced his candidacy for the same supervisor seat.
The seat held by Chuck Morris for district 3 is also on this year’s ballot.
The primary is Tuesday, June 2.