Familiar Faces Leaving School Board, Council

Umatilla Vacancies
Steve Johnson, right, has resigned from the Umatilla City Council. The council will announce the vacancy at tonight's meeting at 7 p.m.

[quote style=”2″]Meeting Dates Changed for August to Avoid Conflicting with Fair[/quote]

Two Umatilla governing boards will announce vacancies at meetings this month. The Umatilla City Council is facing one open position while two members of the Umatilla School District Board of Directors have announced they will be leaving the board.

Umatilla City Council: Steve Johnson
Johnson, a longtime Umatilla City Council member, has resigned and the council will announce its vacancy during the monthly board meeting tonight.

Johnson was re-elected in November 2012. In that election, voters also chose Sharon Farnsworth for an open position, council seat 2, and re-elected Umatilla Mayor Pat Lafferty and City Councilman George Fenton.

The meeting begins at 7 p.m. at Umatilla City Hall, 700 Sixth St. Other items on the preliminary agenda include Safe Routes to School funding, surplus property and committee reports.

Although regular Umatilla City Council meetings take place the first Tuesday of the month, the August meeting is typically moved up to allow for National Night Out celebrations at Umatilla City Hall.

Umatilla School Board: Scott Larson and Sondra Pankey
Two longtime Umatilla School Board members have also announced their resignations. Larson and Pankey will both be moving out of the area.

Larson beat out an incumbent board member to take his position in 2007; Pankey was appointed to the board in 2006 and was first re-elected in 2007. Board members will discuss the process for seeking new members at the August meeting.

The Umatilla School Board typically meets the second Thursday of each month at the District Office; however, the August meeting has been changed to Aug. 15 to avoid conflicting with the Umatilla County Fair.

During the meeting, random drug testing will again be on the agenda.

Last month, the district began a discussion on the possible creation of a random drug-testing policy for all Umatilla High School students participating in extracurricular activities. Board members agreed to create a work group to consider the proposal, and at the Aug. 15 meeting the group will set a schedule for future meetings about the policy.

The district and committee are currently seeking feedback from the community on the proposal. The six-question survey is available online.