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School board hopes to fill vacancy by May meeting

By Kayleigh Rahn
The Tuscola Board of Education is on the hunt for a community member to join their table to fill the seventh, vacant seat.

Those interested in serving the local school board will be able to find the application on the school’s website or at the district office located at East Prairie Middle School.

During their meeting Monday, April 29, the board members decided the district will collect applications until Friday, May 17 when they will begin reviewing the applicants. The board will meet at 4 p.m. May 24 to consider the candidates with the hope of filling the seat for the May meeting.

However, with the current process for board elections, there are a limited number of district residents who will be able to serve.

The appointed board member cannot reside within the two most populated township and range areas of the district as those sections are currently at full representation with three members each. While there will be specific residency requirements to appoint the next board member, Superintendent Michael Smith says the school district will not refuse an application to anyone who is interested.

“We will not turn anyone away, because we do not know where everyone in the district resides,” Smith said, adding that the schools will work with Douglas County Clerk Judi Pollock’s office to review the applications to ensure the appropriate residency requirements are met prior to the board’s review.

The board has 45 days to appointment someone for the two-year term.

With this process in mind, the newly seated board will be posed with the question of whether or not to keep the township and range representation process on the books. To change the election process would take a referendum approval by the voting population of the district.

Former school board candidate Ian Rominger spoke to the board as a visitor and cautioned them against eliminating the representation areas completely so not to oust a voice from a specific section of the population from the board. He suggested they consider areas of representation based on population rather than the seemingly archaic, current system. For example, without a certain set of ranges it’d be possible for one neighborhood to have a majority or all of the vote.

The full story can be found in the Wednesday, May 1 edition of The Tuscola Journal.

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