SD2 board to meet Monday, discuss trustee vacancy

2011-11-20T15:00:00Z 2011-11-27T21:20:11Z SD2 board to meet Monday, discuss trustee vacancyBy ROB ROGERS Of The Gazette Staff The Billings Gazette
November 20, 2011 3:00 pm  • 

The Billings School District 2 board meets Monday to discuss the trustee vacancy created when Chairwoman Barbara Bryan resigned last month.

It will be a full meeting for trustees. Also on the agenda are items looking at district busing and the possibility of doing a board retreat.

Bryan resigned Oct. 18 with a brief email sent to trustees and the board clerk.

“Board service has ceased to be a productive use of my time,” she wrote in the statement. “Over the past 10 years, I have done everything I can to improve school district management, operations, finances, facilities, and educational outcomes.”

In order to fill her seat, trustees must first declare it officially vacant. They had planned to do that in a special meeting on Oct. 24, but language in the board’s policy states vacancies have to be declared at regular meetings.

So as not to open themselves to the risk of a lawsuit, Jeff Weldon, the district’s legal counsel, advised trustees to wait until their regular November board meeting to take action.

Monday night, the board will discuss the vacancy and decide what the application should include. In the past, the board has asked applicants to provide a cover letter, resume and letters of recommendation.

The last trustee to be appointed to the board was Greta Besch Moen, in August of 2010. Moen was the only applicant for the seat held by Mary Jo Fox, who resigned because she moved to a different part of Billings.

Fox, in fact, moved into Zone 6, the area represented by Bryan. In late October, Fox said she had been mulling over whether or not to apply for Bryan’s seat.

The term on Bryan’s seat expires in May, so whoever the board appoints will have to run next spring in order to keep the position.

Bryan’s resignation was preceded by the departure of Superintendent Keith Beeman, whose contract the board terminated in a 5-4 vote at the start of October.

The division on the board has been the cause of some strife and trustees have talked about holding a retreat in an effort to find common goals on which they can work and possibly mend relationships.

Interim Superintendent Jack Copps, who was hired by the board last week in a 5-3 vote, favors a retreat. Chairwoman Teresa Stroebe has been trying to find a place that will not only accommodate the board but be accessible to the public.

Trustees Monday will vote on a location and plan the retreat’s details.

The meeting begins at 5:30 p.m. and will be held in the district’s board room at Lincoln Center, 415 North 30th St., Billings.

Contact Rob Rogers at rrogers@billingsgazette.com or 657-1231.

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