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Ontonagon looks to fill board seat

Skip Schulz/For the Gazette (From left) Julie Kolpack, Tanya Weisinger, Nancy Mattson of Ontonagon School Board. The board will be appointing someone to fill the vacant seat of Rebecca Pantti, who took a staff position with the school district.

ONTONAGON — This past Monday, the Ontonagon Area School District sent out agendas and posted their school board meeting. The meeting was scheduled to start at 7 p.m. However, the Board had met earlier that day at 5:30 p.m.

With multiple media representatives showing up at 7, the board decided to meet again on Wednesday afternoon.

Absent at both meetings was Rebecca Pantti, who was just elected to the board this past November. Another newly elected board member, Rebecca Bramlett, was not at the rescheduled meeting on Wednesday.

Pantti applied for, and later received, the position of business services assistant. This is after the resignation of Kristie Ollila.

“There was 12 applicants for that position, and the interview committee appointed (Rebecca) Pantti to that position,” said Jim Bobula, OASD superintendent/principal. “There was a very difficult decision. All the applicants possessed the qualities pertaining to the job. The interview committee had a difficult decision to make.”

As far as filling Pantti’s school board position, Bobula was very clear.

“It’s a decision by the board,” he said. “There will be an appointment. That’s what’s happened in the past.”

OASD Board President Nancy Mattson agreed with Bobula as to the decision to fill the vacant seat will be done by an appointment from the Board.

“That’s how it’s done,” she said. “The board takes applications,”

This past November, six people ran for three positions on the Board. The three candidates that were not elected, received 1507 votes, with Sue Lockhart receiving 604. Lockhart has told the Gazette that she plans on applying for the position. It is not known if William Johnson, who received 493 votes, or Laticha Hixon, who received 410 votes, will apply for the vacant position.

According to former board member Bruce Johanson there was a time when vacant board seats were filled by the non-elected candidate that received the most votes at the previous election.

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