Coeur d’Alene School Board votes to accept two members’ resignations

COEUR D’ALENE, Idaho– It’s official: Two Coeur d’Alene School Board members’ resignations have been accepted by the trustees.

On Monday, the board unanimously voted to pass Trustee Tambra Pickford’s and Chairwoman Jennifer Brumley’s resignations and vacancies of their seats. The news of their resignations came late last week.

Trustee Casey Morrisroe thanked both board members for their time and said he was sad to see them go.

According to Idaho law, Tambra Pickford’s position must be filled within 90 days by someone in Zone 3. Only a person qualified to appoint the position can do so. Morrisroe says he would like to see the application window for Pickford’s position through mid-November in order to get past the November election.

Morrisroe suggested a public meeting to interview candidates in December, which he said has been done in the past. From there, the trustees would deliberate publicly and vote for a trustee at the meeting.

“There is an additional 30-day leeway period if the board is unable to appoint a trustee from a zone within that 90 days,” said Megan O’Dowd, the school district’s attorney.

If they cannot fill it after that, the position would be in the hands of Kootenai County Commissioners.

Jan. 2, 2022, is when the positions would need to be filled. They can be filled concurrently or consecutively. Chairwoman Brumley’s position is on this year’s ballot since her term was set to expire at the end of December. The community will decide between Lesli Bjerke and Lindsey Swingrover. Once someone is elected, they would ask if they want to come on board earlier to fulfill the legal requirement.

“I think it would only make sense to let Ms. Brumley’s position go to the community and we’ll have those results sooner rather than later,” said Lisa May, a trustee.

Pickford and Brumley’s resignations came after anti-mask protests pushed the board to postpone a September 24 meeting. They were set to discuss a possible mask mandate that day. The board postponed the meeting at the last minute because there was not enough space to safely fit everyone inside the building. A large crowd of anti-mask protesters gathered outside demanding to be let in. That group ultimately caused the district building to go into lockdown and some people threatened to break down the door.

Vice-chair Rebecca Smith said they are to have November’s meeting in person. She said that they are looking to “secure a good spot for that.” It is not clear if it will be at the normal location or if it will be somewhere that could hold more people.

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