D29 board members finally get their wish
Well, members of the Williston District 29 School Board have finally gotten their wish.
After two years of finagling around the issue, a replacement for the vacant seat on the board will be filled once the April election results are final.
On June 26, 2016, Billy Williams walked out of a school board meeting and announced on his way out that he was resigning. We imagine that he and most folks figured that a replacement would be selected relatively quickly and life would move on.
In reality, it took quite a little while for the D29 Board to determine the correct procedure for appointing someone to fill the vacancy. They dawdled moving forward on the issue because what they really wanted was for a special or regular election to be held and allow voters to decide who should fill that seat. Quite noble in some respects but that isn’t what the law dictated.
The law required the remaining board members to appoint someone to fill the vacant seat for the remainder of the term for that seat and then it was to be on the regular school board election ballot. That time is this year, on April 10, nearly two years after the vacancy occurred.
Since 2016 in an effort to move forward, the board asked for nominations. They asked for applications. At one point the four remaining members actually voted between two people who applied for the position, but the vote ended in a 2-2 stalemate.
Unfortunately, several other votes over the last two years have also ended in 2-2 stalemates because of a lack of having that fifth person on the board.
So, here we are in 2018 and filing has closed for the April school board elections. District 29 is the only district which has more candidates than seats to fill. Incumbents are unopposed in Districts 19 and 45 for their respective seats on school board.
Running in District 29 are Russell J. Overton, Ronald J. Brown and Annette W. Burnette. Overton is running for re-election to his seat while Brown and Burnette are vying for a place at the table. In an election such as this, the two candidates with the most votes will take their place on the board. It is like playing musical chairs – three people, two chairs and a question as to what will happen when the balloting music stops.
The good news is that there will finally be five people on the District 29 School Board to oversee the selection of a new superintendent, give direction through policy decisions to parents and staff, and make important decisions.
The stalemate will finally be over.