Elections offices including those in Benton and Franklin Counties certify the results of the August Primary Election tomorrow (8/15). That will pave the way for candidates to vie for one of three vacated seats on the Richland School Board.

Educational Services District (ESD) 123 is tasked with finding the candidate most deserving to fill the seat Semi Bird once held before his recall at the hands of the voting majority. The process is so unprecedented that ESD reached out to the Attorney General's Office for guidance and clarification.

"To meet a quorum on the school board, they need to have at least three positions. And so, the ESD is preparing to fill one of the vacancies. That's our role per state law," Communications Director Molly Curtiss said. "After the election results are certified, we'll open the applications and those can be submitted through 4:30pm on Wednesday, August 23."

The next day, the ESD Board of Directors reviews and screens the applications during executive session before deciding and announcing in public session which 2-5 candidates move forward for interviews with the board.

"And then the interviews of the candidates take place the following week on Tuesday, August 29 at a special meeting of the ESD board members," Curtiss said. "At that same meeting is when the selected candidate is announced."

The chosen candidate will be sworn in August 31 on the night of the Richland Schools Board meeting. That person will serve on the board until November 28, a fairly small window for the person to serve.

"November 7 is the general election. And that's when the Richland community members will be able to vote on all of the open board positions at that time," Curtiss said. "The position that we are appointing will be one of the positions that will be open for the community members to vote on at that time."

For additional details, head to the ESD 123 website for a complete timeline of events ahead of the general election. It's on the website where you'll also find the application for the open position three seat. You may also visit the ESD 123 building on 3924 W Court Street and pick up an application.

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