Chrisman school board has deficit number of members

By GARY HENRY ghenry@prairiepress.net
Posted 5/3/21

CHRISMAN — The Chrisman Community Unit School District #6 held a special board meeting Thursday, April 29, and fewer people were on the board at the end than when the meeting started.

It was …

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Chrisman school board has deficit number of members

Posted

CHRISMAN — The Chrisman Community Unit School District #6 held a special board meeting Thursday, April 29, and fewer people were on the board at the end than when the meeting started.

It was the last meeting of the board that has served since 2019, and the purpose was to reorganize following the April 6 Consolidated Election that put two people on the board even though there were five available seats. Four board members opted not to run for re-election and nobody filed as candidates for those spots.

Board president Leslie Henry sought re-election but lost in a three-way race to first-time candidates John Rogers and James Spesard. At the time, Unit 6 elected board members according to Congressional Townships and no more than three people from the same township could serve on the board. Henry, Rogers and Spesard all live in the same township, but board member Cory Chaney, whose term was not up, also lives in the township. With Chaney as a sitting board member, only two were eligible for election.

Chrisman school district voters approved a referendum question April 6 doing away with the Congressional Township restrictions and making future school board elections an at-large process.

After administering the oath of office to Rogers and Spesard and then adjourning the 2019 version of the school board for the last time, Henry was joined by Steve Rogers, Steve Lorenzen and Mark Wyatt in leaving the table. Jim Ingram the other board member who did not seek re-election was not present.

John Rogers and Spesard took their seats at the table with incumbent members Chaney and Karen Webster, leaving only four people on the school board to conduct business.

Interim superintendent Jim Acklin appointed Webster as president pro tempore and Chaney as secretary pro tempore. Acklin said the next order of business was electing officers and announced Chaney did not want to continue as board secretary, a position he has held for several terms.

Webster was elected president, and John Rogers was made vice president.

“I have no idea what I’m getting into,” Rogers said during the discussion.

Acklin assured him the role is not burdensome as it involves presiding over meetings if the president is absent.

Chaney will continue as secretary pro tempore until more board members are appointed and someone is found to fill that role.

Acklin advised the board that filling the empty seats is an urgent matter.

“As of now, the clock starts running,” said Acklin. “The vacancies need to be filled within 45 days.”

Webster asked if the time had expired for district residents to submit an application to serve on the board.

Acklin replied a deadline was set but it can be extended at the board’s pleasure. He noted the district office had approximately eight applications Thursday night for the board’s consideration.

The board went into executive session to discuss the various applicants and appointed Jeff Eddy and Cody Denton to fill two of the three vacancies. The two appointees will be sworn in at the regular May 10 board of education meeting.

In a phone call following the executive session, Acklin said he anticipates the final vacancy will be filled May 10 when more people are on the board to discuss the remaining field of applicants.