Echan Picked to Replace Bennington on Douglas Board
MINDEN – George Echan, a Zephyr Cove attorney, has been picked by the Douglas County School Board to replace Mary Bennington. Bennington, a real estate agent, was a five-year member of the board including a term as its president. She moved out of District 3 to a residence in Carson Valley.
District 3 represents the southern part of Lake Tahoe and Kingsbury Grade.
The 52-year-old Echan was selected by School Board members after interviews were conducted Wednesday at a meeting at Carson Valley Middle School. Two other applicants vied for the position, Douglas Smith, an employee of the Tahoe Regional Planning Agency in the environmental compliance division, and Shelby Kolstad, a Zephyr Cove resident active in a parent-student organization.
The three candidates were requested to respond in writing to four general questions on why they wanted to serve on the Douglas School Board. Copies of the responses were given to board members.
Echan has a 16-year-old son attending George Whittell High School in Zephyr Cove.
He said his position on the board as a representative of the Lake Tahoe area will be of special importance because of the controversy generated by residents who feel lake schools have been shortchanged in favor of Carson Valley schools. Last year a residents group tried unsuccessfully to found their own lake county by splitting-off from Douglas County.
“One of the concerns I have is that we have limited resources with an intensive growth curve,” Echan said of the Douglas School District. “I’ll also be trying to put to rest the lake-valley controversy. I’m just one vote, but I think it can be resolved. In recent years, there have been inequities in capital improvement funding between lake schools and those in the valley. The current board is trying to address the problems.”
Trustee Cheri Johnson said the selection of Echan came after careful deliberation.
“We had three really good candidates,” she said. “He (Echan) will be a great addition to the board.”
Echan will serve out the remainder of Bennington’s term until the general election in the year 2000, at which time he could stand for election to a four-year term.
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