Mad River Union
MCKINLEYVILLE – The McKinleyville Community Services District Board of Directors is looking for applicants to fill a seat vacated by George Wheeler, who resigned Dec. 10 due to illness.
The board agreed at its Jan. 2 meeting to fill the vacancy through an appointment rather than holding a special election.
Applicants, who must be registered voters living within the district’s boundaries, will have until 5 p.m. Wednesday, Jan. 30 to submit letters of interest to the district. The board will select an applicant at its Feb. 6 meeting and the new board member will be sworn in on March 6.
Board members are paid $125 for each regular board meeting they attend.
The board typically meets once a month. Board members also volunteer for various committee assignments.
At the Jan. 2 meeting, district staff asked the board for direction as to what they should ask applicants to include in their letters of interests.
Board member Dennis Mayo said he wanted to know the applicants’ histories with regard to residency in McKinleyville, community service and education. Mayo said he also wanted to know their knowledge about the district’s responsibilities.
Mayo’s fellow board members agreed, with President John Corbett adding that he also wants to know their business experience and what their perspectives regarding the MCSD.
Corbett said he also wants to put a resolution on the next meeting agenda commending Wheeler for his service to the district.
Wheeler was elected in 2013 and re-elected on Nov. 6, less than five weeks before he resigned due to his medical struggle with Non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma.
Wheeler was the top vote-getter in the Nov. 6 election, winning with 27.11 percent, or 3,350 votes. Wheeler and his incumbents held on to their seats, with David Couch receiving 26.99 percent, or 3,335 votes, and Dennis Mayo receiving 26.80 percent, or 3,312 votes.
Challenger Erik “Yahmo Ahqha” Rydberg came in a distant fourth, with 17.72 percent, or 2,190 votes. He said prior to Election Day that he had only attended a single MCSD meeting. He was not present at last week’s meeting, during which Mayo and Wheeler were sworn in.
The board also decided to update its rotation schedule for board chair and vice chair.
Years ago, the board decided that rather than leave the chair and vice chair positions up to the whim of politics, they would create a schedule. This allows each board member to ultimately serve as an officer.
Last year, Couch served as chair and Wheeler as vice chair. For this year, Wheeler was scheduled to be the chair, and Corbett the vice chair.
With Wheeler’s resignation, Corbett is the chair for 2019 and Mary Burke is the vice chair.
The chair’s main duty is to set the meeting agendas and run the meetings. The vice chair fills in when the chair is absent or has to recuse himself from a vote.
On Jan. 4, the district issued a press release inviting residents to apply for the vacant board seat. The release states:
Letters of interest should be directed to Emily Abfalter, Board Secretary, at the MCSD office, 1656 Sutter Rd. McKinleyville, CA 95519 no later than 5 p.m., January 30, 2019, and include the following information:
• McKinleyville residency history
• Work history or business background
• Education history
• Community service history
• Personal concept of what special districts are and specifically what MCSD does
• New perspectives the applicant would bring to the board