Russell King is resigning from the Verona Area school board, leaving the board at six members until they fill his position.
The move was announced in a Nov. 23 letter.
King, who was appointed to his at-large seat in spring 2016 and re-elected to the position for a three-year term in 2017, has been unable to attend meetings for months, as a job change left him out of the area almost every Monday night. While he sometimes phoned in for conversations, the connection dropped frequently, and he was not part of many conversations.
“My position here at the Christine Center forces me to participate by telephone, and I believe the district will be better served by having my seat filled by someone who can engage more closely with the community,” King wrote in his resignation letter.
While the current term runs until 2020, the timing of the resignation leaves the board with a decision on how to fill his seat.
There is a chance the board could still put a one-year term on the April ballot. Otherwise, it would need to appoint someone after asking for applicants.
When there were two openings in 2016 after a pair of resignations, 11 people applied. King and Meredith Stier Christensen were chosen from among that field.
If the district is able to get the seat on the April ballot, it could appoint a candidate early if it’s an uncontested race, or it could fill the gap until the election with someone who is not a candidate if there is a contested race. Board president Noah Roberts and superintendent Dean Gorrell are expected to discuss the options in the coming days to bring back to the board.
King wrote that he would “continue to participate as a board-appointed interim member” if the board so chooses.
“It may be advantageous to have someone who is not a potential candidate to fill the seat until the election fills it in the spring.”
King wrote he was “proud” of the difficult decisions the board has tackled in his time there and considered it an “honor” to be part of it.
“I know I was often the proverbial voice in the wilderness, but I hope my peers on the board enjoyed our spirited exchanges as much as I did,” he wrote.