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home : education : schools August 28, 2014

5/7/2013 12:55:00 PM
Herburger running for school board
Melvin by John Griffith
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Melvin by John Griffith

By John Griffith

Melvin Herburger has tossed his hat in the ring for school board Position 3, running against Edie Jones.

In the 15 years that Herburger and his family have been in Sisters, he and his wife Sandee have owned several businesses including the Harvest Basket (eight years), five coffee kiosks scattered around Sisters, Bend, Redmond and Prineville, and for the last two years, Melvin's Fir Street Market. Their two sons are products of the Sisters school system.

Herburger said, "I've always been connected to schools from day one. When I was in the Rogue Valley I coached Little League, basketball and flag football. When I came to Sisters I coached Little League for a couple of years. Then for the last nine years I've coached track at middle school and high school. This year the store was too busy to justify me leaving that early in the afternoon for track practice and meets, but not busy enough to hire another person."

When asked why he was running for school board he said, "I could have taken two approaches. I could just show up on issues that interested me, or I could get directly involved. I'm tired of being an armchair quarterback. If I become part of that system then I will be part of the process. I don't feel that I have the right to complain if I haven't been involved.

"I see the biggest issue is funding," said Herburger. "Funding for quality teachers, funding to keep class sizes down, and funding for buildings and sports. I was a strong supporter of the recent local option vote, and I was on the selection committee for Athletic Director Tim Roth."

Herburger believes it is important to continue to offer a full range of programs for students.

"I feel the district does a very nice job of developing well-rounded kids. They offer great arts programs, they have choir, they have band, they have IEE. I want to do my part to see that these programs don't go away," continued Herberger. "If you don't have sports you are not going to have a successful school district - you are not going to have well-rounded students.

"For the district to be successful we need families to continue to come to Sisters. It falls not only on the school district but it falls on the city and the businesses. People come here because of the great quality of the school district. If we let our guard down on the school district we are going to let the whole town," said Herberger. "It is a trickle-down effect. If we don't have families coming here we don't have a workforce, and we don't have customers for our businesses, then we don't have anything."

Herburger was born and raised in Rogue River and graduated from the same high school his parents did. He met his wife Sandee in high school, and was working for Ray's Food Place before graduation. He moved to Ray's in Grants Pass after marrying, and then in 1996 he sought out a transfer to the Sisters supermarket store when it was purchased by Ray's.

Two years later in 1998, scratching that entrepreneurial itch, Melvin and Sandee started The Harvest Basket grocery on Spruce Street. Five years later they began what would become a chain of five coffee kiosks.

The Herburger sold The Harvest Basket in 2006 but kept the kiosks for another few years. Ultimately, Melvin returned to Rays for another two-year stint, first as dairy manager then as meat market manager.

But the "bug" was still with him, and two years ago this July, Melvin and Sandee opened Melvin's Fir Street Market.

Mail-in ballots started arriving at households on Friday, May 3. Ballots must arrive back at the county elections office no later than 8 p.m. on May 21. Ballots can be mailed to the elections office, or dropped off the Sisters City Hall between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m.

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