Tuesday, June 09, 2015
Dankelson to Commission: Appoint three R-8 board members as soon as possible
Dankelson reviewed the law for the commissioners and said that according to state law, the resignations go into effect the moment they are tendered and do not have to wait to be approved by the board. Board policy requires the approval, Dankelson noted, but state law trumps board policy.
The key resignation, Dankelson said, was that of Landis, who has made it clear in comments to the media that he resigned specifically to force the Commission to appoint three new board members.
Landis and Steele, both of whom obviously had some help in interpreting state statutes, claimed that the board violated their right to resign when it refused, by a 2-2 vote, to accept those resignations. Dankelson said that an 1896 ruling confirmed that right to resign and that there were no more recent rulings that would contradict it.
Once Landis resigned, that left the board with three vacancies and that is when the County Commission can step in, according to state law, Dankelson said. The law requires written notification from the board. The copies of the three resignations are that written notification, he added.
Left unmentioned, except during the public comment time during a rambling statement by blogger and frequent Joplin Globe guest columnist Anson Burlingame, was the statement issued by Board President Jeff Koch Monday night, which draws into question whether there were ever three resignations at one time.
In his statement, Koch noted that there is nothing in the law that requires four votes (the majority of a complete seven-person board) to appoint a new member and that there were only two resignations on May 26 when Koch, Debbie Fort and Jennifer Martucci voted to appoint Jim Kimbrough, with Landis and Lynda Banwart voting "no."
Koch says that vote should have placed Kimbrough on the board, which would mean that when Landis quit there were only two vacancies.
Dankelson told the Commission that anyone they appoint has to meet four qualifications- citizen of the United States, a resident of the school district, a Missouri resident for at least one year, and at least 24 years old.