District to appoint board member, followed by election next spring
KENOSHA, Wis. (Wednesday, Feb. 1, 2023) – On Jan. 24, 2023, the Wisconsin Elections Commission contacted the Kenosha Unified School District with concerns regarding the seat vacated by Dan Wade who was re-elected to the Board in April 2020.
Upon his resignation in June 2021, his seat was filled by Atifa Robinson who was appointed on July 1, 2021, in accordance with Policy 8330 – Filling School Board Vacancies. The district was then required to hold an election in April 2022 to fill the remainder of Mr. Wade’s incumbency, which was done, but was inadvertently noticed as a three-year term at that time, rather than the one-year term that remained on the seat’s original 2020-23 cycle.
The notice should have indicated that there were three Board seats up for election, with the two candidates receiving the highest vote totals to be named to three-year terms expiring in April 2025, and the candidate receiving the third-highest vote total to be named to the remaining one-year term of Mr. Wade’s 2020-23 seat, which was set to expire in April 2023.
Eric Meadows received the third-highest vote total of those elected to the board in the 2022 spring election, thus, the seat occupied by Mr. Meadows is considered to expire in April 2023. Due to the timing of this discovery, there is not enough time to meaningfully provide notice to both the public and County Clerk of another three-year Board vacancy for the April 2023 election.
This matter was discussed with legal counsel in Executive Session on Jan. 31 and the following course of action will take place to address the issue at-hand and get the District back on track for the proper three-year cycle:
- The Board will declare a vacancy in Mr. Meadows’ seat to be effective April 24, 2023;
- The Board will follow Policy 8330 – Filling School Board Vacancies.
- Mr. Meadows can apply for the vacancy along with other members of the public.
- The Board will comply with the policy to conduct interviews and make an appointment for the vacancy.
- The position will be filled for a one-year term ending in April 2024; and
- The Board’s 2024 election ballot will include the remaining two years of the seat that should have been noticed and filled in the April 2023 election, as well as the other three, three-year seats that will be up in their usual cycle and are currently held by Todd Battle, Mary Modder and Todd Price.
- The November 2023 notice will specify that the candidate receiving the fourth highest number of votes at the Spring 2024 election will be named to the two-year unexpired term (2024-2026), and the top three vote-getters will be named to the open three-year seats.
An individual shall be appointed to fill the vacancy by remaining members of the Board of Education in accordance with state law and established district procedures. District procedures are outlined in Policy 8330 – Filling School Board Vacancies, as well as this memo.
Individuals interested in filling the vacancy must live in Kenosha, Pleasant Prairie or Somers and must submit a letter of interest no later than noon on Feb. 15, 2023. Letters should be mailed to the Educational Support Center, ATTN: Stacy Schroeder, 3600 52nd St., Kenosha, WI 53144. Letters also can be sent via fax to 262-359-7672 or email to email@example.com, or may be dropped off in person at the Educational Support Center, 3600 52nd St., between 7:30 a.m. and 4:30 p.m., Monday through Friday.
The names of those interested in filling the vacancy will be released by the end of day on Feb. 15 and a special board meeting will be scheduled within 10 days of that release. During this meeting, individuals interested in filling the vacancy will be interviewed by Board members with a selection taking place that same evening. That date is to be determined and will be properly noticed.