MELFORT — Randy Ariss’ position as the school board representative for Melfort will be filled by Luke Perkins until the new school board election in November.
The decision was passed by a vote at the North East School Division’s (NESD’s) meeting on Jan. 21.
Ariss, who was elected in 2016 to serve as one of two representatives for Melfort on the board, died suddenly on Dec. 17. The other representative, Todd Goudy, resigned in 2018 when he was elected as the MLA for Melfort.
The board discussed the option of holding a byelection for the area before the regular one in November, but they ultimately decided against.
The main negatives discussed with a byelection were the cost, and the short amount of time before the November election. The cost for an additional election was estimated to be about $2,700.
Perkins was elected to the board to represent the area of Star City, Gronlid, Choiceland and Reynolds. Last November Perkins was elected within the board to serve as chair, with Ariss’ nomination.
“It’s big shoes to fill and it’s an honour to fill Randy’s shoes.” Perkins said.
“Randy was a friend, a good public servant in Melfort. It’s hard to imagine with the amount of people at his funeral that he had only been here a couple years. I mean, he touched a lot of people, us included.”
The representatives serve as the contact for parents to communicate concerns with.
“It’s important that they know who on the board to speak to if they have a concern that works its way through administration and then they want to talk to a board member,” said Don Rempel, NESD’s director of Education. “Luke will have shoes to fill.”