For the last four years the Board of Education for Hickman Mills has effectively had no more than 6 1/2 members since Bonnaye Mims has spent the majority of her time in Jefferson City as a state representative; even though after her first election she promised to not run for school board when her term was up. That, apparently, was the truth as politicians see it.
Last April’s election saw Evelyn Hildebrand as the clear winner in a field of three; yet, the Board, because of a technicality, opted to not seat her, even though the prosecuting attorney’s office sent a letter stating that all three candidates should be disqualified. Of course, seating Byron Townsend, who came in second, was obvious; but seating the current president, Shawn Kirkwood who came in last, served to maintain the superintendent’s majority of support.
Now, Dan Osman has moved to Overland Park but wants to finish out his term and the rest of the Board has agreed, at least until they figure out if he’s eligible. That, for any other board, should be a no brainer. While Osman technically still owns property in Hickman Mills because he hasn’t sold his house, the Board is overlooking MoRS 162.291 which states, “Each director shall be a voter of the district”. Also, they must not know their own policies which state, “Members of the Board of Education shall be citizens of the United States and resident tax-payers of the Hickman Mills C-1 School District”. (italics added)
Not only is this a disregard of the law and their own policies, but leads to the question of why Osman would want to continue on the Board when he seems to have so little regard for it that he would move before his term is up. Since there was no reason given, one has to wonder if he has moved in order to get what he believes would be a better education for his children. If this is so, it is an even stronger reason for him to simply resign.
This is yet another example of the disregard this Board has for the best interests of the District and yet another indication of its ineptitude.