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New school board gets down to business

The newest members of the Farmington School Board took on some of its most important roles at the first meeting of the new year.

Tera Lee, who was the top finisher in the Nov. 2 election, was elected chair at Monday night's meeting. Brian Treakle, who finished second, was elected vice chair and Melissa Sauser, the third of the new board, members was elected clerk.

There were a few stumbles as the new board members found their foot

ing. At one point Lee took a motion and a second on an item, then tried to move forward before the vote was taken.

Lee said she read up on Robert's Rules of Order before the meeting, but ran into some situations she didn't expect.

"I thought I was prepared, but I guess it's a steep learning curve when you're new," Lee said.

Tim Burke will serve as the board's treasurer.

Burke joined with the newcomers in the two elections in which there was more than one candidate. Julie McKnight, acting as board chair to open Monday's meeting, nominated Julie Singewald to serve as board chair but Burke nominated Lee. Singewald nominated McKnight for the clerk position, but Burke nominated Sauser.

There was only one nomination for the vice chair and clerk positions.

The way the elections were handled -- and the way the board handed out assignments to committees -- had board member Julie McKnight warning the new board members about the way they conduct their business. She pointed out that settling board business outside of regular board meetings is a violation of open meeting laws.

"It was evident these positions were decided before the meeting," said McKnight, the longest-tenured of the board members. "Going forward, you can't do things that way."

Nathan Hansen

Nathan Hansen has been a reporter and editor with the Farmington Independent and the Rosemount Town Pages since 1997. He is very tall.

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