For the third time this year, the Bethel School Board has lost a member through resignation.
Ronald Morehouse is the latest to depart. He gave up his District 1 seat Oct. 24, stating in his resignation letter that “personal reasons” were preventing him from fulfilling “my commitment” as a board member. But he said he would volunteer for district committees and advising students on reaching college.
Morehouse was elected in 2009 and served for nearly three years of his four-year term.
The board is accepting applications from prospective replacements of Morehouse. They must live within the area he represented (information is available through the district’s web site, board president John Manning at 253-537-5521 or Bethel School District superintendent Tom Seigel at 253-683-6010. The deadline to apply is Nov. 30. The remaining four members of the board plan to interview candidates Dec. 8 and formally appoint one to the vacancy by Dec. 11. The appointee will officially take office Jan. 8.
The new appointment will result in a majority of the five-member board being persons who haven’t been elected. Appointees Stanley Chapin and Michael Audas took the positions resigned in February by Joy Cook and Marianne Lincoln.
Cook and Lincoln.stepped down for similar reasons. Cook, who has moved to Arizona, was re-elected last November despite the knowledge that she was planning the move to join her husband, who took a job in the other state. She attended one board meeting in January and another in February before resigning March 1.
Lincoln announced Feb. 12 that she was resigning on that date because she was “relocating my residence.” Lincoln, who served for half of the term she won in the November 2009 election, told fellow board members by letter that she decided to resign at roughly the same time as Cook so the board could handle the appointment process for both vacancies simultaneously, rather than go through it twice.
Chapin, an operations and project manager for Tacoma’s Metro Parks District and Point Defiance Zoo and Aquarium, took office April 10. He was appointed over Kathryn Hobbs, the only other applicant for Cook’s former position.
Eight people applied to replace Lincoln. The board picked Audas, a family and child therapist; over two other finalists – Miles Hall, a YMCA of Pierce County official; and Matt Hamilton, a business owner.