Tony May named interim Garfield Re-2 board president |

Tony May named interim Garfield Re-2 board president

Garfield Re-2 board member Tony May addresses a question posed during a forum at the Silt Branch Library in 2021.
Ray K. Erku / Post Independent

Meriya Stickler’s resignation as Garfield Re-2 board president triggered lengthy discussions over whether board members should permanently restructure the board now before allowing Stickler’s vacancy to be filled. 

The board officially approved Stickler’s resignation Aug. 24, which prompted a motion to elect Tony May interim president. 

A motion to appoint an interim Garfield Re-2 president lost on a 2-2 tie. Board members Jason Shoup and Christina Maness voted in favor of the motion, with May and fellow board member Britton Fletchall opposing.

May voted against selecting an interim president because he favored permanently restructuring the board before Stickler’s vacancy was filled. The logic, he said, was to “get this done and move on with business.”

But after more discussion, May expressed dismay about the process the last time the Garfield Re-2 board appointed a new member. 

Former board member Katie Mackley, first elected in 2019, resigned in fall 2021. She cited harassment and bullying over COVID-19 mask mandates implemented by the district as reasons leading to her resignation.

May contends that the vote to appoint Christine Maness — which took place six days before the 2021 general election — should’ve waited until after Fletchall and himself were elected to the board.

The day the Re-2 board was scheduled to vote on an appointment, May called Shoup and requested that he not show up for the vote.

“That’s when you reached out to me and asked me not to come that night,” Shoup told May. 

Legally, there’s a 60-day time frame allowed for a board to appoint someone right after a vacancy is made official.

Mackley officially resigned on Oct. 13, 2021, while Fletchall and May were sworn in Nov. 29, 2021. This left an additional 13 days before the 60-day period ended to appoint a new board member. 

“Two new board members came on, and they weren’t afforded the time to talk about who they wanted to be on the board,” May said during Aug. 24’s meeting.

The Aug. 24 meeting then saw May motion to permanently restructure the board before filling Stickler’s vacancy. With lack of a second, the motion died before going to a vote.

Shoup and Maness said they first wanted to see the qualifications of the potential new appointee before a final decision was made to select a new permanent president.

Meanwhile, they also questioned whether May was going to “hold on” to his issue over Maness’ 2021 appointment.

“You have put that at my feet many times,” Maness told May.

After further discussion, Shoup told May he appreciated the conversations and seconded a motion made by Fletchall to appoint May as interim president.

As board president, May said he would focus on conserving the ideals of the community.

“This is an agricultural community. We base our economy on a lot of agricultural business,” he said. “I want to make sure that we’re educating our children to be able to step into this business with their families and maintain a solid working relationship with the community through education.”

Stickler, who represents District D, said she is resigning to pursue a new corporate compliance position that requires travel and would interfere with her responsibilities on the board.

Meriya Stickler

Much of District D stretches north and south between an eastern portion of Silt to a western portion of New Castle.

Stickler said she’s already pushed off taking the position for the past six months. 

Questioned about her departure and Maness’ appointment last year, Stickler told the Citizen Telegram on Friday that Maness has already brought in a “ton of value to the district.”

“Christina (Maness) is one of the most amazing humans,” Stickler said. “She is absolutely the most qualified for the position and has done an amazing job since she stepped in.”

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