Open seat decision delayed – Trustees table action on Casey resignation

By Sarah Pridgeon

Paul Casey’s resignation as Sundance School Board Trustee was tendered at this month’s regular meeting of the board, but eventually tabled. As a number of board members were concerned about appointing a replacement so close to the upcoming general elections, the motion to accept his resignation failed to pass.

Trustee Wayne Jordan pointed out that the new trustee would be sworn in and trained in his or her duties, only to serve for a single board meeting before the elections. Trustee Ken Rathbun added that an appointed trustee must then stand for re-election and said that he “couldn’t see how that could happen.”

School Board Attorney Mark Hughes explained that state statute requires a board member be replaced within 30 days and standing for re-election is not a requirement, but is “meant to be the idea.” He went on to comment that a replacement is appointed for the unexpired term and that, in this case, “there is no unexpired term.”

Rathbun expressed his opinion that appointing a replacement would be essentially “meaningless” when a new member will then be elected in November. Trustee Tracy Jones questioned whether “all [the board] would be doing is filling shoes?”

Trustee Steve Blakeman disagreed, however, on the basis that trustee seats represent the community. “This isn’t about us, it wouldn’t be meaningless,” he said.

A motion was considered to accept Casey’s resignation, but failed to pass with three trustees supporting it and five voting against. A second motion, to table the resignation, passed with a vote of 4-3.