By John Butters. The JOURNAL
After appointing a replacement school board member on July 9, the Mid-Prairie School District will be compelled to hold a special election in August to fill the vacancy.
The board had appointed Emily Uhl to fill the open seat left by George Schaefer, board vice president, who announced his retirement from the board in June. However, a petition for a special election was submitted to the Mid-Prairie administrative office at the July 12 deadline, requiring the district to schedule an election on Aug. 28.
Had the appointment stood, Uhl?s term would have extended from the board?s first meeting in September and expired with the 2019 November elections. Uhl will fill the position for all board meetings until after the election is certified by the Washington County Auditor?s office.
The winner of the election would be sworn in at the first board meeting in September.
Washington County Auditor Dan Widmer said there would be polling sites in Wellman, West Chester and Kalona. Polling sites will be open until 8 p.m. Absentee ballots can be obtained from the Auditor?s office.
To vote, a person must be a registered voter and a resident of the school district. Identification will be required at the polling site.
Those who are interested in being a candidate can pick up nominating papers at the Washington County Auditor?s office or at the District Office, located at 1636 Highway 22 East.
Widmer said candidates must obtain 50 signatures from residents of the school district to qualify. The nomination papers must be submitted to the District Office by 4 p.m. on Aug. 3.
Mid-Prairie Business manager Jeff Swarzentruber estimated the cost to the district at $1,000 to $2,500, depending on the number of candidates.
Following Shaefer?s resignation, board member Marianne Schlabach was elected as vice president. Her vice presidency will expire at the first board meeting in September when the board will elect a new slate of officers.