NEW ULM - Board member Jill Hulke is ineligible to serve on the District 88 School Board and plans to resign next week.
Hulke's home is located just outside the boundaries of the school district, which disqualifies her from serving on the board, Superintendent Harold Remme reports.
This fact was accidentally discovered just a few days ago, when Hulke brought one of her children to early childhood screening in New Ulm.
It turned out the Hulke children were actually expected to attend the screening in the school district that includes the city of Nicollet.
The Hulkes live in rural Courtland, not very far into the Nicollet district, noted Remme.
The Hulke taxes have, indeed, gone to Nicollet Public Schools.
When Hulke filed for a seat on the District 88 board, she filled in an affidavit that stated she is a resident of District 88 and has resided at her address for at least 30 days. District officials went by this sworn statement and did no further checking.
Trusting a candidate affidavit is a routine practice, Remme said. In such cases, officials generally do not check further.
The situation is believed to have been an oversight by everyone concerned. Both the candidate and district officials believed the information to be true.
Because of the proximity, the Hulkes are considering petitioning the courts to transfer their property into District 88, said Remme. It is a lengthy process that may take several months.
In the meantime, Hulke will resign from the board next week.
In such cases, the board appoints a replacement to serve in the vacated seat until the next general election. The next general election in this case is in November 2014.
After Hulke resigns, the school board will invite people interested in serving through 2014 to contact the Superintendent's Office and declare their interest. If several candidates come forward, the board will select the one they deem best.
Hulke was absent from a critical school board meeting Tuesday night which selected the next prospective District 88 superintendent. Her absence triggered questions.
Remme is retiring at the end of the school year, and the board on Tuesday selected GFW Superintendent Jeff Bertrang as his prospective replacement.
The early childhood screening took place March 19-21.