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Wrenshall petition is filed

A petition to rescind a school board appointment in Wrenshall has been turned in to the school district office. Superintendent Kim Belcastro reported at the regular school board meeting Monday night that the petition had 200 signatures on it. If all of the signatures are valid, it would be well above the required signatures required by state statute, which set the amount at 5 percent of eligible voters in a district, or, in Wrenshall, 168 people.

The petition will now be reviewed by the district’s head of elections, Beth Peterson. If enough signatures are deemed valid, the school board will need to make another appointment to the board which is down to five members since former chairwoman Michael Blanchard became principal of the preK-12 school.

Belcastro said she asked about the petition process with the Minnesota Schools Boards Association, which told her that there hasn’t been a recall petition in the state before. The association said the board still has the option to appoint but might want to consider taking nominations and conducting interviews, Belcastro said.

On Aug. 16, the board approved the appointment of Bill Dian to replace Blanchard. It had conducted no public review of people interested in the open seat and Dian said after the appointment that he was aware that he had enough votes to be appointed before the meeting. Those details didn’t sit well with residents in the community and the petition was begun. If successful, Dian will be recalled and ineligible for any subsequent appointment by the board.