Ballot question seeks to remedy problematic board vacancy

PW-S School District voters will be asked to create an at-large seat
Ozaukee Press staff

What Port Washington-Saukville School District officials see as the best way to fill a long-vacant School Board seat hinges on the results of next week’s election.    

A referendum question on the April 3 ballot will ask voters if a board seat that represents a small area of the district should be changed to an at-large position that can be filled by a person living anywhere in the district.

The board would remain at nine members, and the new seat would replace one that currently represents a small section of the towns of Saukville and Grafton. That seat has been vacant since October 2015, and with only about 350 registered voters living in the area, a candidate to run for the position, or even a person willing to apply for a board appointment, has been elusive.

Board bylaws currently call for the board to consist of five members from the City of Port Washington, two from the Village of Saukville and one each from the Town of Port Washington and the towns of Saukville and Grafton. The proposed change would only affect the Saukville-Grafton town seat.

Although board members represent specific areas of the district, all voters may vote for all candidates. For example, a Village of Saukville resident may vote for a City of Port Washington School Board candidate.

If voters approve the change, it would become effective for the April 2019 election.

With no one willing to represent the small area of the district in the towns of Saukville and Grafton over the course of the last two-and-a-half years, school officials said they can’t imagine why voters wouldn’t approve a measure intended to restore the board to its full nine members.

“When this passes, we’ll have an at-large seat a year from now that I’m certain will be filled,” Supt. Michael Weber said.

A vacant Saukville-Grafton town seat was not always a problem. For 16 years it was occupied by Jim Eden, who served as board president for two of those years before resigning in March 2014.

The board appointed Paul Krechel in July 2014. Krechel ran unopposed in the April 2015 election but resigned in October of that year.

Despite the district’s efforts to find an appointee to fill the seat, as well as an April 2016 election that failed to attract a registered or even a write-in candidate, the seat has remained vacant since Krechel’s departure.


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Ozaukee Press

Wisconsin’s largest paid circulation community weekly newspaper. Serving Port Washington, Saukville, Grafton, Fredonia, Belgium, as well as Ozaukee County government. Locally owned and printed in Port Washington, Wisconsin.

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