The Blaine County School District still finds itself short one trustee after the sole applicant for a vacancy in Zone 4 withdrew his application.
Mid-valley resident Kirk Peterson, an accountant, was to be interviewed Monday evening by the four current school board members but that meeting was canceled earlier Monday because of Peterson’s voluntarily withdrawal from consideration.
Why Peterson withdrew remained unknown to the public on Tuesday, as he had not returned a telephone call to the Idaho Mountain Express by press deadline that day.
District Communications Director Heather Crocker said Tuesday that the district intends to reopen the trustee selection process by providing another 30-day period for potential applicants who reside within the boundaries of Zone 4.
Zone 4 encompasses mainly the west Ketchum area and areas north and south of Ketchum and west of state Highway 75. The zone boundary runs almost as far south as the Hailey city limits. Precise zone boundary descriptions can be found under the “Board of Trustees” tab on the district website at www.blaineschools.org.
“The board encourages anyone who might be interested in the vacancy to attend the upcoming board meetings.”
BCSD communications director
Crocker said the opening and closing dates for applications will be announced as soon as the information is available.
“The board encourages anyone who might be interested in the vacancy to attend the upcoming board meetings and budget meetings and subscribe to the BCSD Weekly Update to stay informed about meetings, events and deadlines in the School District,” Crocker said.
The vacancy was to be discussed at Tuesday evening’s regular March meeting.
The Zone 4 vacancy was created in January with the resignation of board Chairman Paul Bates, who was first elected to the school board in 2009 and ran unopposed for a second term in 2013. Bates was elected chairman in July 2013, replacing former Chairman Steve Guthrie, who was defeated in a May 2013 election by current school board Vice Chair Kathy Baker.
In his letter of resignation, Bates wrote that he was leaving the post because underage people drank alcohol at his home during a New Year’s Eve party hosted by his college-age daughter. Bates wrote that he had gone to bed early and was unaware of what had happened, but took responsibility nonetheless because it was in his home.
Although Bates’ letter of resignation was submitted to the school board on Jan. 21, a vacancy wasn’t officially declared by the board until Jan. 29.
Under Idaho law governing school board vacancies, the board had 90 days from the day the vacancy was declared to appoint a new board member who resides in Zone 4. If no appointment is made within 90 days, the board may then appoint an at-large trustee, living anywhere within the boundaries of the district, to represent the zone.
Idaho law further provides that if a new trustee is not appointed by the board within 120 days of when the vacancy was declared, then the appointment of a new trustee becomes the responsibility of the county board of commissioners.