A plan to lengthen the term of board members is moving forward in an area school district.

The Howell Public Schools District on Monday finalized a plan that will make the terms of all of its members increase from 4 to 6 years. Tom Gould, Director of Public Relations for the district, tells WHMI that the proposal came about after discussions between Superintendent Erin MacGregor and several board members with a concern that when a majority of the board is up for re-election at one time there is the potential for instability if all of those seats were to turn over in one election. Gould notes that their current board election cycle has four seats up for election each presidential election, as they are this year, and then three seats up in the off-year election, which would next be in 2022. He notes the new term structure would be similar to what is at the State Board of Education and many higher education Boards of Trustees.

Gould says the change will be offset by two of the seats, currently held by Board President Stacy Pasini and Treasurer Courtney Tarara, up for election this November being for 6-year terms. The seats currently held by Secretary Marcus Wilcox and Trustee Mike Yenshaw will be for 4-year terms. Those seats would then become 6-year terms in 2024. Then in 2022, the remaining three seats, currently held by Vice President Brent Earl and Trustees Christy Conn and Grace Trudell, would be for 6-year terms.

The proposal initially went through the policy committee and was then approved at the board’s January 13th meeting. At Monday’s meeting a resolution was approved to amend the board’s policies to incorporate the change. Superintendent MacGregor informed the board that the Livingston County Clerk’s Office had also been notified about the change. (JK)