COEUR D’ALENE — The concern over whether a Coeur d’Alene school trustee had relocated to Post Falls and was no longer eligible to serve on the board was quickly resolved this week.
A concerned citizen notified the board last Thursday that trustee Allie Anderton no longer resided within Zone 1, and “thus she is not qualified to act as a trustee, and as a result I and thousands of other constituents are not being represented,” according to the complaint obtained from the board’s website.
The board was asked to confirm Anderton’s residency and eligibility, based on court filings pertaining to her divorce. The concerned citizen claimed that Anderton had moved to Post Falls with her father. In response, board chairman Rebecca Smith tried to contact Anderton but was initially unsuccessful so a special meeting was scheduled on Oct. 18 to discuss the matter in an open meeting.
On Monday, the board had still not received a “written response confirming trustee Anderton’s residency” and Idaho Code requires that a board act to declare a vacancy when a trustee has moved out of their zone, a district spokesperson wrote in a press release.
Anderton responded Tuesday and the district’s legal counsel confirmed her residency. “According to Idaho code 34-107, my residency remains at 3799 S. Wolf Lodge Creek Rd. The claims being made against me are untrue. Idaho code 34-107 defines residence, and temporary accommodations do not qualify as a new residence. It is my present intention to return to my home when the divorce is final,” Anderton wrote.
“After careful consideration of trustee Anderton’s response and consultation with the district’s legal counsel, I am comfortable with trustee Anderton’s explanation and statement of intent to return to her residence in Zone 1 …,” Smith said in the release, which also notified the community of Wednesday’s canceled meeting.
“At no time was this situation personal, nor an attack on trustee Anderton. I have no desire to discuss sensitive and personal matters in a public forum,” said Smith. “I have a great deal of respect for trustee Anderton’s privacy and empathy for her as she manages through a difficult life challenge. That said, as board chair, I am duty-bound to uphold state law and board policy concerning matters in front of us. In this case, without a clear response from trustee Anderton about her residency, I made the decision to begin the conversation via a special meeting.”