Friday, December 08, 2023

WBCSD board to meet today

Staff Writer | September 20, 2023 1:00 AM

PRIEST RIVER — The West Bonner County School Board will hold its first meeting tonight since two trustees were recalled by voters in late August.

Former board chair Keith Rutledge and vice chair Susan Brown were overwhelmingly recalled by voters Aug. 29. Roughly 63% of voters in Zone 4 voted to recall Rutledge, while roughly 66% voted to recall Brown.

The election saw 2,162 residents in the two zones turn out to vote — far more than the 2021 election, which saw the pair voted into office when 844 people voted.

Community members launched the recall campaign in mid-June, saying the two trustees "failed to uphold their oath" and did not have the "first and greatest concerns for the educational welfare of West Bonner County School District students attending public schools."

At today's meeting, the remaining trustees — Margaret Hall, Carlyn Barton, and Troy Reinbold — are slated to appoint a new chair, vice chair, and treasurer. In addition, the agenda calls for the district to update signatories.

The remaining trustees are also scheduled to formally declare the positions formerly held by Rutledge and Brown vacant. That will set the process for filling the two seats, including setting a timeline for applications and interviews.

Several executive sessions are on the agenda, including one to consider "the evaluation, dismissal, or disciplining of, or to hear complaints or charges brought against, a public officer, employee, staff member, individual agent, or public school student."

The session is slated to be followed by possible action regarding an unspecified employee’s status.

A second executive session is scheduled to follow on consideration of hiring a public officer or employee "wherein the respective qualities of individuals are to be evaluated in order to fill a particular vacancy or need," according to the agenda. However, the agenda item does not necessarily apply to filling a vacancy in an elective office or deliberations about staffing needs in general, district officials said.

Also on the agenda are reports from board trustees, school administrators, the district's finance director, and superintendent Branden Durst.

In addition, the board is scheduled to approve certified contracts, with amended contracts pending approval of the 2023-'24 negotiated agreement; discuss general legal services; and discuss the co-curricular salary schedule for the current school year. A board reflection and countable discussion are also on the agenda.

The meeting will begin at 6 p.m. in the Priest River Lamanna High School cafeteria.

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