HOWARD LAKE, WAVERLY, WINSTED, MN – Because of state law, the Howard Lake-Waverly-Winsted School District had to spend $4,866 to chose a new school board member last month, Superintendent Brad Sellner reported at last Monday’s school board meeting..
Since July 2015, Minnesota law has required a special election for vacancies with more than one year left on the term. The term of Jesse Tintes, who moved out of the area last fall for a new job opportunity, was set to expire in January 2017. He resigned in October 2015, a few months over the one-year mark.
HLWW’s special election took place April 19, and Lacy Detlefsen was elected to fill the vacancy, with 50 votes. Six-hundred ballots were ordered, and a total of 56 people voted (six were write-in votes.)
“There is a way the school board can do this without being forced to have an election and spend all that money,” Sellner said, explaining that it would have been more cost-effective for the board to appoint Detlefsen instead.
The current state statute notes, “If one year or more remains in the unexpired term, a special election must be held under subdivision 1. If less than one year remains in the unexpired term, the school board may appoint a person to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the unexpired term, unless the vacancy occurs within 90 days of the next school district general election, in which case an appointment shall not be made and the vacancy must be filled at the general election.”
Look for more school board coverage in the Monday, May 30 edition of the Herald Journal. Click here to subscribe online or in print.