Blaine County School District Trustee-elect Lara Stone may get a head start on the school board, after her future colleagues declared the Zone 5 seat open Tuesday night.

The remaining members formally accepted Trustee Kevin Garrison’s resignation from the board one day after he voluntarily stepped down in a letter sent Monday to Chairman of the Board Ellen Mandeville. Garrison, who was not seeking re-election in November, opted to leave the office following his arrest last Friday on two alcohol-related misdemeanors.

Under Idaho law, the board had 30 days to declare the vacancy; after that, it has 90 days to fill the vacancy.

But, with Stone the only candidate on the Nov. 5 ballot for Garrison’s old seat, why wait? That’s what Tuesday’s discussion boiled down to, as the board floated the Hailey businesswoman’s name, and set a timeline to fill the seat during its regular meeting on Nov. 12. First, though, it wants to dot the i’s state code requires.

“Basically, we have two options,” Mandeville said after the meeting. “Appoint and swear in the trustee-elect, or wait until January.

“It’s an unexpected situation, to have a vacancy while we have a trustee-elect waiting. At this point, I don’t know what’s appropriate to say.”

On Wednesday, Stone told the Idaho Mountain Express that she’s been contacted about filling the vacancy in advance of her official term, which is slated to start next year.

“I’ve told them that I’m willing to join the board early if they’d like,” Stone said.

Now or later, Stone will replace Garrison in Zone 5, which spans from Indian Creek north to the county line. And, Hailey attorney Keith Roark will take Mandeville’s seat in January; she’s not running again, and he’s the only name on the ballot to represent Zone 3, in western Hailey.

That leaves one contested race, for outgoing Trustee Ryan Degn’s south county seat covering Carey, Picabo and part of Bellevue. There, it’s between Bellevue accountant Alexis Lindberg and Carey’s Amber Larna, former head of the Blaine County Drug Coalition.

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