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Wanted: one to join Frazee school board

The Frazee-Vergas School Board on Monday rejected an attempt to offer a vacant seat to Brenda Como, and instead opted to take applications from the public.

The board slot was left vacant by Kathy Kallis, who resigned from the board during a stormy meeting in May.

The board has gone through a list of past board members and has gotten no takers to fulfill the last 18 months of Kallis' term.

So the question was what to do next, since the board hasn't faced this problem in the past.

Board member Steve Jepson made a motion to ask Como if she was interested in the position, since it's only been six months since the election and Como was the next top vote getter.

Jepson took a majority of the votes in November's election, with 1,644. Keith Janu came in second with 1,158 votes, while Dana Laine received 878 votes.

Como was fourth with 788 votes. The top three vote-getters won seats on the school board.

"The next logical step is to do that (ask Como to join the board)," Jepson said.

Board member Nancy Dashner disagreed, saying Como hasn't attended any board meetings before or since the election, but added that Como will certainly be taken into consideration if she applies for the position.

If an interest in the board was the only qualification, she added, district watchdog Oscar Birkeland would be more qualified because he's been at most board meetings.

The people still spoke and gave Como their votes, regardless of whether she's been at school board meetings or not, Jepson said.

"I'd like to offer it to her. I don't see harm in that," he said.

Superintendent Daren Stender reminded the board that whatever they decide, it will set precedence, since the board hasn't had to take this step in the past.

The motion to ask Como failed 4-2, with Jepson and Zeigler voting in favor of Como.

Cook then made a motion to open the spot up to applications from the public.

In order to get the person on the board as soon as possible, applications will be due by July 24.

Board members will individually look through the applicants and rank them. The top three applicants will be interviewed on Aug. 3.

The board will choose one of the three, who will then be sworn in at the Aug. 10 meeting.