Kenosha school board member forced to step down after election error
KENOSHA, Wis. (CBS 58) -- A clerical mistake has cost a Kenosha school board member his job and that's not sitting well with his supporters. Voters say they elected Eric Meadows to a three-year term, but the district now says it should have been a one-year term.
Eric Meadows is a father who says he just wants to make a difference. The seat he won in 2022 was misrepresented as being three years, so he'll have to step down this spring.
Kenosha voters are fired up and speaking out in front of KUSD district headquarters.
"This is a year later? They want to undo this? This starts a very dangerous precedence," said Matthew Allan, Meadows' supporter.
Some 9,000 people cast their ballots for Eric Meadows to fill a seat that became vacant when former board member Dan Wade stepped down early. As the Wisconsin Elections Commission recently updated school board contests for this spring, it was learned Dan Wade's seat only had one year left on it. And so, it becomes up for grabs again this spring.
"My reaction is shocked, needless to say, it was not something on my radar. I feel betrayed and I think I'm worried about the voter intent, the voters are being ignored in this whole process," said Eric Meadows, KUSD board member.
Three board members were elected last April. Meadows was the third top vote-getter. Parents have felt a connection to board member Meadows and don’t want him to go.
"And now we're just set back again, and it just gets tiresome. This man has run three times," said Michelle Marshall, Kenosha voter.
"We do feel pretty much ignored except for by Eric and Kristie. We do feel pretty much ignored. They look at us like who are you, basically," said Paula Gonzales, Kenosha voter.
A fellow board member says when it was announced in a closed-door session last month, it was already a done deal.
"None of the board members got really a vote. It was more or less kind of decided for us that we would be doing a, b and c," said Kristine Schmaling, KUSD board member.
"I want to ask you if there's something political going on. I have my suspicions. I won't speculate too much here, but I have my suspicions that this is not by accident," said Meadows.
A statement from KUSD says they consulted with legal counsel on the appropriate way to handle this.
There's a special meeting on Feb. 22. That's when the board will consider other applicants to be appointed to the seat. Eric Meadows can go for it, but there are no guarantees the board will give it to him. Just a big mess, left to be decided.