May 4, 2023 at 4:20 p.m.
Board accepts Spencer’s resignation; appoints Aadland ahead of special election
Plenty of coffee was on the menu for the Chisago Lakes School Board Monday, May 1, as they met for a special meeting at 7 a.m. to accept board member Cory Spencer’s resignation, and discuss plans going forward to fill the now-vacant seat.
The first order of business at the short meeting was to officially accept Spencer’s resignation. Board member Josh Soderlund made the motion, with board member Jen Penzenstadler seconding. It passed unanimously.
Replacing Spencer as the board clerk was the next on the docket, and only Soderlund and Penzenstadler were eligible since board members Lori Berg, Jeff Lindeman and Brenda Carlson already hold officer titles. Lindeman nominated Penzenstadler to be the next clerk, saying, “Jen has a lot of experience as a treasurer and director and secretary of many organizations in Chisago County.”
Chair Berg then explained that because of the near full term left on Spencer’s tenure, the board was required to do two things. They’re required to temporarily fill the vacancy through either appointment or application process, and then they are required to hold a special election at some point.
She said they’ve already missed the April/May window for elections, so the next opportunities for a special election are August or November.
The board first decided that they would appoint former board member Sarah Aadland to the position, pending her acceptance. Aadland was the appointment in 2021 when Melissa Donovan stepped down from school board and Aadland was also the next highest vote getter in the November 2022 election. The board unanimously cited her past experience in this situation and membership on the board, as well as her strong support in the election as reasons to appoint her.
“It seems like it makes the most sense. We’d be appointing the next highest vote getting and there’s not a lot of training that we’d have to do,” Lindeman said. “And I do believe that person would be very interested in taking the seat.”
Lindeman said he had spoken to Aadland, and Berg said she also spoke with her as they were both at last week’s Chisago Lakes prom.
“Someone with her experience would be nice, especially if she’s willing to take it on,” Penzenstadler said.
Reached after the meeting, Aadland said that she planned on accepting the appointment.
“The board has a lot of work to do leading up to November, and given that I’m already up to speed, I’m happy to step up for another interim term of service,” she stated.
The special election date was the next detail to hammer out. Berg stated that it would make much more sense to do it in November since the district may be going for another levy at that point. “There’s a lot of disadvantages of doing August if we are going for a levy in November,” she explained. “It’d be double the cost and the messaging would overlap. It makes sense to combine the special election for the board member with the potential levy in November if that’s where the board goes.”
The board unanimously agreed that the second Tuesday in November would be the better option and passed it before adjourning the 15 minute meeting.
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