Earlier this week we heard about the Frontenac School Board circumventing the electoral process by allowing a sitting board member to resign, only to be appointed to another vacant seat which is not up for election for two years.
As best we can tell, this was not illegal.
And therein lies the problem. We do not impugn either the motives of the school board, nor the character of the board member in question.
However, while not illegal, this was almost certainly improper. Whether or not the board member in question is good at his job, nor whether the community is happy to have him there is immaterial. The community was denied an opportunity to have its say through the electoral process. This whole matter has pointed out a loophole in the appointment process one could drive a Mack truck through.
An unethical governing body could use this loophole to rotate members in such a way that no one would have to ever stand election.
And therein lies the rub.
While this board may have been honestly trying to do the right thing, there are plenty of governing bodies in this state all too ready to use any legal loophole they can to maintain their positions.
Therefore we call on State Reps. Monica Murnan and Adam Lusker, and State Senator Richard Hilderbrand to sponsor what we are somewhat immodestly calling “The Morning Sun Amendment.”
It should read something like this: “Upon resigning from a Governing Body, no former member of that Body shall be eligible to serve upon that Body, by appointment or election, until at least 12 months shall have passed.”
Passing this amendment, which should easily be a bipartisan measure, will ensure the integrity of both the appointment and electoral processes and we urge the legislature to do so early in the next session.