Siuslaw School Board gears up for budget, election seasons

Applications to fill board vacancy due by Monday

March 16, 2019 — On March 13, during the monthly meeting of the Siuslaw School Board at the district office, the board members voted to accept the resignation of Director Eric Rines. The board then opened the brief application period to fill Position 3, with applications due by 5 p.m. on Monday, March 18.

Rines submitted his resignation from the board to be effective as of Feb. 22. The board voted to approve the vacancy, with Director Guy Rosinbaum referring to Rines as “my good friend” and Director Bill McDougle saying he approved it “with regret.”

“We’ll miss him,” said Board Chair Suzanne Mann-Heintz.

Once they announced the vacancy, the directors decided to fill the position via appointment rather than waiting until the May 21, 2019, Special Election, when several other director positions will also be up for election.

“The board wishes to have a resolution … to fill as soon as possible the vacancy that has been created by the resignation of Eric, and that we will open applications as of now,” Mann-Heintz said.

The board decided to hold a special meeting this Monday, March 18, at 6:30 p.m., to go over the applications and hold interviews; the board may choose to fill the position at that time. Applications are available online at or at the Siuslaw School District Office, 2111 Oak St. Applications may be dropped off at the school district office or emailed directly to Vonnie McClellan, board secretary, at [email protected] by 5 p.m. Monday.

Director John Barnett said, “If there was a community member who would be potentially running (in the upcoming election) and wanted to get a few months experience before then, it would make sense.”

The last day for candidates and measures to file for the May 21 Special Election is next Thursday, March 21. Positions in Western Lane County up for election are:

  • Lane Community College — four positions
  • Mapleton School District — two positions
  • Mapleton Water District — five positions
  • Port of Siuslaw — two positions
  • Siuslaw Public Library District — two positions
  • Siuslaw School District — four positions
  • Siuslaw Valley Fire and Rescue — three positions
  • Swisshome-Deadwood RFPD — three positions
  • Western Lane Ambulance District — two positions

In addition, there will be at least one county-wide measure. For more information, visit

During Wednesday’s meeting, the school board also voted to fill two open positions on the district’s budget committee. There were three applications for two positions, with Position 2 expiring June 30, 2020, and Position 3 expiring June 30, 2019.

Bob Sneddon, who declared his intention to apply for the vacant Board Director Position 3 seat, withdrew his name from consideration for the budget committee.

“I have no problem withdrawing my name from the budget committee process this evening,” he said. “I understand because if you have a live, breathing prospect who wants to volunteer for something like this, I’m in favor of signing them up.”

Community members Brittany Hornung and Joel Marks both received nominations and were passed unanimously — with Hornung going into Position 2 and Marks taking Position 3.

Barnett said, “Just reading on what the parties have written in their applications, they seem abundantly qualified. Just by going off what I’m reading, I don’t think there would be a bad choice. They are awesome choices.”

Mann-Heintz agreed.

“The thing that excites me is that Brittany is a young woman and she’s in a financial career, and she wants to serve the school. And she’s a new mom. All good reasons,” she said.

During the board acknowledgement period, Rosinbaum and Barnett talked about the importance of the school district in their own families’ lives, including past and current teachers, administrators and staff.

Rosinbaum mentioned that an area resident had recently discovered a picture of a past school board member in her attic.

“I look back at the pictures against the wall, and I think about it. Every single one of us here is now part of the history of this place,” he said. “This school is center to what this town is. You all make this what it is. My kids went to school here, and they have nothing but fond memories now of this place. I just can’t tell you how proud I am to be a small part of that and to be a part of what you guys are doing. Sixty-five or 70 years from now, someone is going to find my picture in an attic someplace, and remember that their grandad was a part of this as well. I just keep that in mind.”

Barnett, who is a Siuslaw graduate, said he had “phenomenal memories” of district staff, including Dick Whitmore, John Weeks, Glenn Butler, Harry Colton and Wayne “Boomer” Wright.

“It’s fun to listen to my kids developing stories and telling the same stories that I used to tell them about the administrators and teachers, whether it’s the Harry Coltons or any of the people that impacted me as a student,” he said, gesturing to the staff members. “Years from now, my son is going to talk about and tell his kids about you.”

At the start of the meeting, Siuslaw Elementary Principal Mike Harklerode had introduced 11 fifth-graders who were the children of district staff, including himself, Barnett, Florence Police Department School Resource Officer Brandon Bailey and others.

“When we do this each month, we are usually recognizing students for accomplishments and achievements. These are some students that are largely being recognized through birthright, which is kind of cool,” Harklerode said. “These are great kids and it’s not always easy being one of our kids in the schools. As a dad I love it, because I get stolen time with my kids as I see them come through the elementary. It’s a pretty special thing that I never take for granted.”

When Barnett continued, he added, “It’s interesting to see the small-town dynamics and how deeply rooted we all are here, and with our own kids — and you guys teaching our own kids — and the whole process everything goes through. It’s just fun and neat to be part of that heritage.”


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