Still time to apply

By: 
Alexis Barker, NLJ News Editor

There is still time to throw your name into the ring for a two-year term on the Weston County School District No. 1 board of trustees, but the deadline for applications is this Friday. The open seat is the result of the resignation of 22-year board member Ronnie Mills on Nov. 9, just one day after the 2022 general election. 

According to Celo Dickey, executive secretary for the district, Marcia Lambert and Paul Bau have both submitted letters of interest for the seat. Both Lambert and Bau had run in the general election.  

As reported in the story “Mills calls it quits,” dated Nov. 17, the board accepted Mills’ resignation during its regular Nov. 9 meeting and then discussed how to replace him. Mills had retired after a long career as director of transportation for the district before beginning his board service. Mills also held the office of secretary on the school board.  

Trustee Dana Mann-Tavegia suggested that the board move its Dec. 14 meeting up to Dec. 7 at 5 p.m. so that it could consider applications for the position before the 30-day replacement deadline, but Trustee John Riesland suggested the board should instead use the just-completed election to choose a replacement for Mills and fill the vacancy sooner.

“We just had an election yesterday,” Riesland said. He then suggested that the board appoint the fifth-highest vote-getter from the Nov. 8 election. 

“I think, at this point, Marcia (Lambert) was fifth in the election. … I don’t know (that) we need to go for applications,” he said, adding that the voters had already voiced their opinion.

Going into the election, voters were to choose four names from the list of candidates for the four seats open. The top four vote-getters were Sean Crabtree, 1,121; Dana Gordon, 1,009; Joe Prell, 941; and Jason Jenkins, 684. Of the four, Gordon and Jenkins are incumbents who were re-elected. Lambert, also an incumbent, had 682 votes, putting her in fifth place. 

Trustees Billy Fitzwater and Jason Jenkins agreed with Mann-Tavegia, stating that the last time an appointment was made, the board requested applications before replacing former trustee Dean Johnson with Tom Wright. 

“We went through the interview process,” Jenkins said. 

Wright argued that the community just had a 90-day interview process for 11 individuals who had expressed interest in serving on the board. 

“People said who they wanted in that order. There was a two-vote difference between Jason (Jenkins) and Marcia (Lambert),” Wright said. 

He noted that the vote had taken place just 24 hours before the meeting, and that he believed appointing Lambert that night was the appropriate thing to do. He then moved to appoint Lambert for the two remaining years of Mills’ term, and Lambert told the board that she would be interested in filling the term. 

That motion failed, however, and the board ultimately decided to interview candidates before their now rescheduled official meeting begins at 7 p.m on Dec. 7. Interested parties are asked to submit letters of interest to the board by Dec. 2. 

 

 

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