School board candidates Joe Colgan and Bill Bowlby revealed differing styles at a public forum Thursday.
Colgan, who was appointed to fill a vacancy in August, pointed to his experiences as a board member for the
Durango Adult Education
Center and La Plata Economic Development Action Partnership and longtime involvement in Rotary clubs and Boy Scouts.
Bowlby, in contrast, asked big-picture questions while citing academic literature and news reports.
In response to a question about how to improve communication between Durango School District 9-R and the community, Colgan said conversations often prove valuable.
"You can eliminate so much misunderstanding," he said.
Bowlby, answering a question about education funding, said: "Why is there always money for war and never for education?"
In his answers, Bowlby cited two books of education research, the U.S. Constitution, a National Public Radio news story and Gandhi.
Colgan discussed his work at the Adult Education Center, which helps dropouts earn general equivalency diplomas, among other programs.
"We know we will be successful when we're out of business," Colgan said. "That is, when we don't have any more dropouts attending."
Bowlby urged parents to get involved.
"It is the American tradition that the power shall reside in the people," he said.
Added Bowlby: "Vote for me, vote for Joe, but vote."
Candidates answered written questions from the audience of about 30 at City Hall.
Colgan and Bowlby are candidates for the District E seat on the Durango School District 9-R's Board of Education. The forum was sponsored by the League of Women Voters of La Plata County and the Latina Initiative.
Unopposed candidates Jeff Schell and Andrew Burns also attended the forum. Julie Levy, an unopposed candidate for the District D seat, was out of town on a work-related trip but submitted a prepared statement.