March 13, 2001 11:00 pm

By The Observer

Steve Joseph is returning to La Grandes public service spotlight.

Joseph, a former member of the City Council, won a tight race for Zone 3, Position 4 on the La Grande School Board Tuesday.

Incumbent Shari Bennett was victorious, winning her race for the Zone 3, Position 5 berth.

Zone 3 positions are for La Grande residents.

Joseph won a tight race against Boyd Rasmussen and Jim Mollerstrom. Joseph received 1,064 votes or 32.8 percent of the votes cast. Rasmussen had 1,030 votes or 31.8 percent. Mollerstrom was third at 29.5 percent. He got 957 votes.

Joseph said he greatly appreciates the support he received.

I will be working to provide the the best return on the communitys investment in its youth, Joseph said.

Joseph, a lawyer, was on the La Grande City Council from 1990 to 1994 and from 1996 to 1998. Rasmussen is a deputy with Union County Sheriffs Department and Mollerstrom is a consultant for juvenile justice and youth development programs.

Joseph will succeed incumbent Pasco Arritola, who did not run.

Bennett, who has served on the board for 12 years, was re-elected to a fourth term, defeating Janine Robinson with 52.5 percent of the vote. Robinson received 34.6 percent of the ballots cast.

Bennett, who could not be reached for comment this morning, is a volunteer for the American Field Services student exchange program. Robinson owns Blue Mountain Braille Company.

The Zone 1, Position 1 berth on the La Grande School Board was also open. Glen Herman, a printer with the Union-Baker Education Service District, ran uncontested. Herman will succeed incumbent Craig Braseth.