School board takes heat for new member's resignation

Kari Ratliff, who just ended her membership on the board, said Hummel should have been informed sooner that there may have been a conflict of interests.

"It's disrespectful; it's unethical; it's wrong," said Ratliff. "He should have had an answer before tonight."

Elementary teacher Deborah Egglefield, whose son, Jacob, has received services from Hummel, submitted a letter to the board urging them to reconsider the assessment that his membership on the board would create a conflict.

"I feel it is a terrible injustice to our students, but it would seem that if Mr. Hummel refrained from serving ELCS students... he would indeed be able to remain a member of this board." Egglefield wrote. "That would be sad for the students he works with, but I believe it is more unfair to the community that voted Mr. Hummel into office not to have him representing them."

Hummel said it was not Else nor any of the school board members who suggested he resign, but that his employer did so, making him feel pressured to choose between his job and his desire to serve on the school board.

While he wished he didn't have to choose to resign, Hummel said he was most concerned for the people who may have run in his place had he known in advance of the concern.

"I think it would have been a better approach (for the school board) to address me," said Hummel. "All it had to be was a simple communication saying that this was the position they were taking."

David Mace joined several others in the audience who suggested the board's lack of communication with Hummel gave the appearance of sabotaging the public's choice for the position in an effort to appoint a different person to the position.

Board president William Haseltine denied those accusations, asserting that none of the board members had any intent to appoint anyone to the vacant seat.

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