The decision ultimately will be up to Hays USD 489 Board of Education member Sarah Rankin about whether she will resign her position before or after May 1.
But Rankin, who was appointed to the BOE in 2014, made it clear to other board members Monday evening at the Rockwell Administrative Building, she wants the decision to be made with their approval. No decision was made by the end of the agenda matter toward the end of the meeting Monday night.
At the Jan. 30 meeting, Rankin announced she would be stepping down from the board at some point by the end of June, when her family will move to Colorado. If Rankin, the board vice president, decides to leave before May 1, the person appointed to her position will have to seek re-election on the November ballot, if they so choose. If she chooses to leave after May 1, the appointee will be able to stay in the position until the 2019 election.
The board positions of President Lance Bickle, Josh Waddell and Danielle Lang all will be up for election in November. Whomever is appointed to Rankin’s spot will not be put into the vice president role. Another member of the board will be moved into that position.
“It is your choice in many ways; it really is on you,” Superintendent John Thissen told Rankin during Monday’s discussion. “You choosing if you want to turn in your resignation before May 1 or after is your choice. But knowing the situation could make a determination on your part of when you think is best for this board to (choose a new member).”
Rankin was apprehensive to have the choice as to when she steps down. She said she would prefer to have the board decide that themselves. Rankin has said in both of the two previous meetings she is willing to stay on board for as long as possible before leaving.
“I would like to stay out of it and let you guys decide,” Rankin said of the final decision.
“I will do what you guys think is best.”
The board members didn’t jump to any decision, but they were willing to give their own opinion of the matter.
“I would probably lean more towards the resigning before the May 1 deadline,” board member Luke Oborny said. “Just so that it goes to the public vote, rather than us making an appointment for a two- or three-year period. That would be my personal preference.”
If the decision is to be made that Rankin will resign before May 1, the board possibly could have four new members join after the November election — pending the decision of those up for re-election.
“As far as what Luke said about giving back to the public to vote on, you end up having many times people who are appointed, if they do well in six, seven months, they have a great chance of being voted in,” Thissen said. “I mean, typically.”
Once Rankin has decided when she will step down, the school district will be able to advertise the position. It will have to be after 15 days when the vacancy is filled, according to lawyer Michael Baxter, who was in place of absent USD 489 lawyer Bill Jeter.
In other action, the board:
• Voted 7-0 to approve its revised board policies.
• Voted 7-0 to appoint negotiators for HNEA and SEIU negotiations for 2017-18.
• Voted 7-0 to approve the 2017-18 school year calendar.