The McKinleyville Community Services District has a new board member.
Last week, the board appointed Shel Barsanti, a certified public accountant who served as auditor for two smaller community services district, to the seat that came open with the resignation of George Wheeler, who stepped down for health reasons.
In her letter of application, Barsanti said her experience “brings a knowledge and understanding of special district audit reports, accounting, finances and reporting matters” to the board.
She is also the president of the Mad River Rotary and has lived in McKinleyville since 1977.
The board used a ranked voting system to select one of the nine candidates who applied for the position. Barsanti received seven out of eight possible points, meaning that she was either the first or the second choice of each of the existing board members.
The competition for the vacant seat was intense, with many applicants exhibiting the strong business, management and community service skills the board wanted to see in its newest member. The runner-up was real estate agent Maya Conrad, who received four points.
"This is difficult because we have so many well-qualified candidates," commented Board President John Corbett. He urged those who were not chosen to stay in contact with the board, as there were many opportunities to provide service to the district.
Barsanti will serve in Wheeler’s seat until 2020, when a general election is held.
The MCSD manages the water, sewage, parks, recreation and street lights of the unincorporated town of McKinleyville. It does not have planning, police or road maintenance authority, all of which are handled by the county. The district owns three buildings, including the sheriff's substation and the library.
About 25 members of the public attended the Feb. 6 meeting. The board honored Kelly Miller and Christine Willfong with the Community Builders Award for their continuous work in caring for the baskets of flowers that adorn Central Avenue. Other issues discussed were the district's cooperative relationship with the McKinleyville Senior Center, the status of the future community skate park, a dispute over costs with Little League and forthcoming labor negotiations with the staff.