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BEA Board advertising open seat

By Staff | May 5, 2019

BEA interim superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen makes a point about filling an empty board seat to the board.

During a Blue Earth Area special School Board meeting on Monday, April 29, the BEA board accepted the resignation of board member Jeremy Coxworth and have begun the process to appoint a replacement to fill the board member vacancy until November when special school board elections are set to take place.

“First we would like to thank Jeremy for his years of service to the board,” said Susan Benz, chairwoman of the School Board. A motion was then made by Frankie Bly and seconded by Kyle Zierke to accept Coxworth’s resignation with appreciation for time served. The motion was passed unanimously.

Now the process begins to appoint a replacement to fill Coxworth’s seat on the board. Interim Superintendent Dr. Jerry Jensen explained that he called the Minnesota School Board Association to further understand the laws and bylaws with regard to a resignation during a special election year, which 2019 happens to be for the BEA School Board.

“The law makes the determination if a resignation takes place at least 90 days prior to an election date, there are specific rules we must adhere to during the special election in November, and we are much further out than 90 days until the election, so our appointment process is wide open,” said Jensen. “I would suggest we take applications from interested parties from now until May 10, then on our May 13 meeting, we can formally select someone. What the applicants are really showing an interest in is a term of only five or six months.”

Jensen went further to state that once the chosen person is formally selected, which is a requirement of state statute, it will take another 30 days to appoint the chosen candidate to the board.

“This gives the public the opportunity to respond to our selection, if there is any response from the public,” said Jensen. “The earliest our new School Board member will be able to take over is July.”

Once the new board member has their seat, they will serve until November, when special elections are held, resulting in a term of approximately five months.

The board then approved the process for appointing Coxworth’s replacement, with a motion made by Sara Hauskins and seconded by Zierke. The board passed the motion.

Next on the agenda was appointing a?board member to serve on the Southern Plains Education Cooperative Board of Directors. Since Coxworth was BEA’s representative, the board members chose to appoint their alternate to the SPEC board, who was Zierke.

“I’ll do it,” said Zierke, after Jensen asked the board if anyone had particular interest in serving on the board. Susan Rosenau made the motion to approve Zierke’s position, and Stacey Beyer seconded the motion, which was then passed by the board.

Lastly on the agenda, Dr. Jensen requested the board schedule a work session to start looking at financial data as it may lead the board to bring an operating referendum to the district residents in November.

“I’ve connected with Michael Hoheisel of Robert W. Baird & Co. Financial to help us get our arms around what these financial data could look like. I would suggest inviting him to the May 13 meeting to discuss refunding bonds,” said Jensen.

With Jensen’s suggestion on the table, the board approved inviting Hoheisel to the May 13 meeting to present to the board and assist in a work session after their regular meeting.

The District also has some facility bonds that they are paying off for some large facility projects. At their next regular meeting, the Board will receive information regarding the potential for savings to the taxpayer if they refinance those bonds now.

Within a half hour of the start of the meeting, the School Board had made their decisions and passed a motion to adjourn their meeting.