The Columbia Heights School Board needs no reminding that three plus three equals six. The six-member board remained locked in a 3-3 tie after twice trying to choose a new chairperson at its first meetings of the year.
The second attempt came Tuesday night, when once again Scott Bardell and Ted Landwehr drew three votes each, according to Dawn Hoium, who serves as executive assistant to the board. Rules call for the board to keep trying to elect a new chair, she said.
At its Jan. 4 organizational meeting, the board elected Joseph S. Sturdevant as clerk, Laura Palmer as treasurer and Bardell as vice chair, according to Hoium.
Bardell is serving as acting chair until the board elects a new chair. Bardell said that if he eventually wins the chairperson seat the board would likely elect a new vice chair, although the state doesn't require that position to be filled.
"It'll work itself out," Bardell said of the divided vote for chairperson. He won election in November, along with Palmer, Sturdevant and former chair Missy Lee.
Three school district claim parts of the city of Fridley. The southeastern corner of the city is in the Columbia Heights School District, also known as Independent School District 13. A northeastern part of Fridley is in the Spring Lake Park School District (Independent School District 16). The remainder of Fridley is in the Fridley School District (Independent School District 14).
The Spring Lake Park School Board elected officers Jan. 11. According to district spokesperson Jim Elert, they are: Colleen Vranish, Chairperson; John Stroebel, Vice-Chair; Jodi Ruch, Treasurer; Kelly Delfs, Clerk; and Annette Winrick, parliamentarian.
In less contentious action Tuesday, Hoium said, the Columbia Heights board heard the first reading of a minor alteration to district policy: changing the capitalization of the Pledge of Allegiance.