Visser to leave school board

Soon-vacant seat will be filled by appointment; applicants sought

by Tom Coombe
For at least the third time in a decade, a mid-term vacancy will exist on the Ely School Board.
Applications are being sought from district residents to fill a seat now held by Darren Visser.
Visser has notified school officials that he’s moving outside the district, which would make him ineligible to serve, and will give up the seat he won in 2020.
As a result, Visser’s seat will soon become vacant and the district is advertising for interested applicants.
The process is already underway with applications due Feb. 24, and plans in place for the current board to interview candidates at a Feb. 28 meeting.
The board will fill Visser’s seat by appointment until the next regular election, set for later this year.
According to an advertisement placed this week by the district, interested candidates must complete an application form, submit a resume as well as a brief letter outlining reasons they desire a seat on the board.
Candidates must also be present for the interview session, to be held in public, Feb. 28.
Materials can be mailed, emailed to mwognum@ely.k12.mn.us, dropped off at the district office at Memorial High School, or mailed to ISD 696, 600 East Harvey Street, Ely, MN, 55731.
Applicants must be at last 21 years old, be a resident of the district for at least 30 days and clear a criminal background check.
Several previous board vacancies have been filled by appointment, most recently in 2015 when James Pointer was appointed to fill a seat vacated by Amy Richter.
Two years earlier, Rochelle Sjoberg was picked from a field of seven applicants to take the place of Bill Skradski.
The appointee will fill the remainder of the first half of Visser’s term, and that seat would be subject to election next year, with the winner serving the remaining two years.
The resignation and subsequent appointment process ensures that four of the six board seat will be up for grabs this fall.
Visser’s resignation adds to a period of flux for the board, given the recent absence of longtime chairman Ray Marsnik, who is recovering from injuries sustained in a two-vehicle crash outside of Ely in late-December.