The St. Paul school board set out on Monday to fill the vacancy created by the death of colleague Marny Xiong.
A special election will be held Nov. 3, the same date as the general election.
In the coming weeks, the board also will undertake a separate process to appoint someone to serve on a temporary basis until the election results are certified.
The two-track plan raises the possibility that the person who is appointed by board members to serve in the interim also could file for and be elected to the seat in November.
Board Member Steve Marchese, however, said people who seek the interim position should be encouraged not to run in November. Otherwise, he said, the board could be perceived as trying to influence the election. Board members are expected to ask candidates about their intentions.
Xiong was elected to a four-year term in 2017 and was serving as board chairwoman when she died June 7 of COVID-19. She was 31.
Candidates who run in the November election will be seeking to fill the final year of her term.
The vacancy is being posted on Tuesday.
Applications for the interim appointment will be accepted until 5 p.m. July 21.
The board plans to interview candidates on July 27 and appoint someone at that time. How many people are interviewed will depend on how many apply. If six or fewer people seek the appointment, all will be interviewed. If more, each board member will select two candidates for interviews.
State law requires a 30-day window for possible challenges to the appointment. As such, the person who prevails is not likely to be seated for board meetings until September.
Candidates seeking to run in the November election must file affidavits of candidacy with the Ramsey County Elections Office during a period beginning July 28 and ending Aug. 11.
The person elected in November can begin to serve after the votes are certified.
The school board last had the task of filling a seat on an interim basis four years ago.
Then, Jeanelle Foster,who is now the board’s vice chairwoman, considered seeking the appointment but decided against it after learning the person who prevailed would be discouraged from running for the seat that November.
She went on to win the seat in that election, but because it was for the final year of a four-term term — as is the case now — she had to run again the following year. Foster was successful then, too.
Six of the seven St. Paul board members are paid $18,000 a year, and the board chair earns $20,000 a year.