Lebanon Hills

Photo by Kent Landerholm, 2015

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Updated: Dec 18, 2020

Update: On December 10 the ISD 191 School Board unanimously voted to appoint Suad (Sue) Said to fill the vacancy described below until a special election can be held to fill that seat. A Sun ThisWeek story about the appointment is available here.


In early October Jen Holweger resigned from her position as a member of the ISD 191 Board of Education. Because the vacancy occurred less than 90 days prior to the November general election, the Board was unable to call a special election to fill the vacancy in November. The Board accepted applications through November 6 from those seeking to be appointed to fill the vacancy until a special election can be held. The applicants were Suad (Sue) Said and Brandon Neuerburg, each of whom reside in Burnsville. Ms. Said was one of five candidates who sought to be elected to one of three available at-large seats on the Board during the November general election, and received 15% of the vote. Mr. Neuerburg is a sales manager at a local refrigeration business and a longtime volunteer sports coach. Ms. Said is a workforce development representative at a state agency and is a parent volunteer at Gideon Pond Elementary School.

On November 17 the Board interviewed the applicants during a special meeting:

Pursuant to state law, the appointment of Ms. Said will become effective after 30 days unless a petition is filed to reject the appointee bearing the signatures of individuals eligible to vote comprising at least 5% of the number of people who voted within the district in the most recent state general election. 5% of those who voted in the November general election would be approximately 3,088 individuals. Two new Board members elected during the November general election, Anna Werb and Toni Conner, will also start serving in 2021, while Vice Chair Eric Miller will begin serving his second term.

The Board may call a special election to be held as soon as February 9, 2021. However, based on discussions during its October 8, 2020 meeting, Board members appear to be inclined to call a special election to be held on the latest permissible date, which is November 2, 2021. The candidate elected during the special election will serve the remainder of the term of the now-vacant seat, which ends in January 2023. More information is available via this Savage Pacer article and via ISD 191's website.

Updated: Dec 13, 2020

In November the current chair of the ISD 194 (Lakeville) School Board, Zach Duckworth, was elected to the Minnesota Senate representing Senate District 58. Senator-elect Duckworth has notified the Board of his intent to resign his school board seat effective January 4, 2021. Pursuant to state law, the Board will be required to call a special election to fill the vacancy to be held no later than November 2, 2021, the date of the next municipal and school district general election.


The Board discussed the process of calling a special election at its work session on November 17 (relevant video begins at 1:53:23). Memoranda provided to the Board by ISD 194 staff state that the Board is not required to appoint someone to fill the vacancy until a special election can be held. However, Minn. Stat. § 123B.09, subd. 5b, states that "[a]ny vacancy on the board, other than a vacancy described in subdivision 4, must be filled by board appointment at a regular or special meeting." The statute does not say how quickly a school board must fill a vacancy by appointment but the statute does envision a process whereby someone is appointed to fill the time period between when a vacancy occurs and when a special election is held.

Gary Lee, Deputy Executive Director of the Minnesota School Boards Association (MSBA), stated in a newsletter published in February 2019 that under similar circumstances "[t]he statute requires that the vacancy be filled by school board appointment until a special election is held in the current year. The appointment process is not defined in statute, so the school board can determine the best process." The Office of the Minnesota Secretary of State's 2020 School District Election Guide likewise states on page 61 that "[a]ny vacancy on a school board, other than a vacancy noted in M.S. 123B.09, subd. 4 (ill or absent member), must be filled by board appointment at a regular or special meeting. The appointment shall be in the form of a resolution entered in the minutes and shall be effective 30 days following adoption of the resolution, subject to M.S. 123B.09, subd. 5b(b) (petition to reject is filed). If the appointment becomes effective, it shall continue until a special election is held."

The Board has not established a process for filing the vacancy or adopted a resolution calling a special election. The Board may call a special election to be held on April 13, May 11, August 10, or November 2, 2021. During its November 17 work session the Board discussed possibly combining the special election to fill the Board vacancy with a proposed bond referendum. The candidate ultimately elected during a special election will serve the remainder of the term of the vacated seat, which ends on January 2, 2023. More information is available via this Sun Thisweek article.

The newly created Minnesota Task Force on Expanding the Economic Security of Women is now accepting applications. The 15-member task force was announced last week by Attorney General Keith Ellison. Members of the task force will seek to:

  1. Identify the barriers that prevent gender equity in the workplace and limit women's equal participation in the economy, including: gendered-based pricing (the “Pink Tax”) in consumer goods and services, barriers that fall disproportionately on women of color and immigrant women, and the disproportionate economic impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic on women;

  2. Explore best practices to advance the economy security of women; and

  3. Develop a comprehensive set of recommendations that protect and support women's economic security in Minnesota.

The deadline to apply is January 4, 2021. More information is available here. Those interested may apply here.

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