Whiteaker certified as election winner

It was a case of being in the wrong place at the wrong time as Tim Whiteaker, a former Oroville School Director, was reelected to a school board position he can’t legally hold.

Whiteaker resigned prior to the November election when it was discovered he was not living in the part of the school district that includes Position 5. However, it was too late to remove his name from the ballot. Two write-in candidates threw their names into the hat late in the game, but neither earned more ballots than Whiteaker.

“We certify who got the most votes to the school district and they can seat the winner or not, that’s up to them,” said Mila Jury, an election official with the Okanogan County Auditor’s office.

A district wide memo was sent to staff at the Oroville schools explaining the reason why Phil Barker, who received the second highest number of votes, was not automatically seated in the vacant position. Since Whiteaker can’t legally serve as the 5th District School Director, the position can be filled by the sitting school board members choosing a replacement.

However, at the last school board meeting Steve Colvin, representing the Oroville Education Association, stated the board did not have a quorum because two members’ terms had run out leaving only Tedi Fletcher and Amy Wise in good standing.

When asked last Friday if he was aware that he had not been elected to the vacant board position, Barker said he had not been, but would be checking with the county.

A levy workshop was planned for Wednesday, Dec. 9 at 12 p.m. in the district office. The next school board meeting has been moved from Monday, Dec. 28 to Thursday, Dec. 17 in the district office at 5 p.m. due to the upcoming winter holidays.

About Gary DeVon

Gary DeVon is the managing editor of the Okanogan Valley Gazette-Tribune and celebrated his 25th year at the newspaper in August 2012. He graduated from Gonzaga University with a degree in Communications - Print Journalism, with an emphasis in photojournalism. He is a proud alumnus of Oroville High School. His family first settled in Okanogan County in the late 1800s. His parents are Judy DeVon and the late Larry DeVon and he has two younger brothers - Dante and Michael. Many family members still call Oroville home. He is single with a grown daughter, Segornae Douglas and a young granddaughter, Erin.

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