Purtee resigns from school board

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COEUR d'ALENE - There is going to be an open seat on the Coeur d'Alene School District's Board of Trustees, again.

Jim Purtee, who was appointed to the Zone 1 board position in April, submitted his written resignation Wednesday to board chair Tom Hamilton, giving an effective date of Nov. 15.

"I have spent the last week undergoing lengthy medical examinations in Houston, Tex., at The Houston Medical Center," Purtee wrote in the Oct. 31 letter. "The diagnoses confirm a personal and familial challenge in the coming years."

Purtee stated that the unnamed health issue will preclude his school trustee duties.

"It is my priority at this stage in my life to place personal health and family above all else," Purtee wrote.

Purtee was unavailable for comment on Wednesday.

The school district reported that Purtee missed the Oct. 15 board meeting due to a "pre-planned trip to Houston Medical Center and Baylor College of Medicine for medical reasons."

Board chair Hamilton said, in a school district press release, that he thanked Purtee for his service: "I am aware of the health issues that Trustee Purtee is facing and can say that in the same circumstance, I would make the same decision."

Purtee is expected to attend the Nov. 12 regular board meeting. School trustees will likely accept Purtee's resignation at their Dec. 3 regular monthly meeting or during a special meeting after Nov. 15.

By state statute, Idaho school boards are required to declare a vacancy within 30 days of a trustee's resignation.

Idaho Code 33-504 gives school boards 90 days after declaring a vacancy to fill the vacant seat with a qualified individual residing within the trustee zone. If the seat cannot be filled within 90 days, the board has up to 120 days to select an appointee from at-large within the school district's boundaries.

The individual appointed to the Zone 1 seat will serve until the end of June, and will have to win a May election in order to remain in the seat for another term. Zone 1 is District 271's largest trustee zone, covering the entire area east of 15th Street from the school district's northern to southern boundaries.

Purtee was among six candidates who applied for appointment to the Zone 1 position last spring. Casey Morrisroe, Duncan Koler, Luke Sommer, Christa Hazel and Wanda Quinn also sought the appointment at that time.

Another round of candidates will likely be sought by the board following their declaration of the board seat vacancy.

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