The Merrill Area Public Schools Board of Education opted to go with experience in filling a vacant seat in its ranks last Wednesday.
The Board voted to appoint Eugene Bondioli to the seat vacated by the resignation of Keith Schmelling Aug. 25. Bondioli served on the board from 1992-95 and is a retired district manager with Wisconsin Public Service Corp.
Bondioli was one of eight candidates to apply for the vacant seat, with two of the other candidates also veterans of board service.
“We were very blessed to have eight strong candidates,” said Board President Bill Jaeger. “We could easily have selected four or five of these people. I hope they all consider running for the board in the future.”
The seven members in attendance needed just one round of voting to select Bondioli, who garnered four votes, and thus a majority. Renee Krueger received two votes and John R. Shull Jr. received one.
After Bondioli took the oath of office, the board elected new officers. Jaeger, who had been vice president and interim president, was elected president while Lin Kautza was named vice president and Brad Geiss as treasurer. Jen Seliger retained her position as clerk.
Bondioli will occupy the seat until April when the next school board election will give the voters a chance to say who will serve the remaining two years on one seat as well as three other seats whose terms will be up.