Board Vacancies

Periodically, a board position will become vacant before a trustee’s term has ended.  Click on the link for either city libraries or district libraries to review procedures for dealing with a vacant board position.


When a City Library Has a Board Vacancy

Idaho Code I.C. § 33-2605. BOARD OF TRUSTEES -- VACANCIES -- REMOVAL. The board shall report all vacancies to the council within five (5) working days. All such appointments shall be made in the same manner as appointments are originally made. Appointments to complete an unexpired term shall be for the remainder of the term only.

Any trustee may be removed by the city council by the unanimous vote of all of its members. 

 "All such appointments shall be made in the same manner as appointments are originally made" refers to 33-2604, "appointed by mayor and city council." 

When does a vacancy occur? 

Because state law is silent on this issue, there are two ways of addressing it:

  1. The city library board can ask the city council to address it in an ordinance or resolution for the library, or
  2. The city library board can add a vacancy clause in its own bylaws.  Although a city library is an independent, nonpartisan, governing board (33-2601), it would be politic to ask if the city council has any objections before doing this.

See Sample Bylaws for City Libraries

As a guideline for the establishment of a policy on vacancies, the city library board may wish to look at how district library law deals with this issue in I.C. § 33-2716(3):  This section identifies a number of reasons for declaring a vacancy.  Those that could apply to a city library board:

  1. The death of a trustee

  2. The resignation of a trustee

  3. A trustee is no longer a resident of the library's service area (which, in the case of a city library, is the city limits)

  4. Upon appointment, a trustee refuses to serve

  5. Without an excuse acceptable to other board members, a trustee misses two consecutive meetings.

How long is the replacement's term?

According to Idaho Code 33-2605:  "Appointments to complete an unexpired term shall be for the remainder of the term only."

When a District Library Has a Board Vacancy

According to 33-2716(3):  A vacancy shall be declared by the board of trustees when any nominee has been elected but has failed to qualify for office, or within thirty (30) days of when any trustees shall (a) die; (b) resign from office; (c) no longer reside in his respective trustee zone of residence; (d) no longer be a resident or qualified elector of the public library district; (e) refuse to serve as trustee; (f) without excuse acceptable to the board of trustees, fail to attend two (2) consecutive regular meetings of the board; or (g) be recalled and discharged from office as provided in this chapter.

How is a replacement made?

The board first must declare that a vacancy exists within 30 days of the date the trustee is no longer on the board for any of the above-mentioned reasons.  This must be done either at a regular or special board meeting.  The board then has 60 days to name a replacement.  If the library board does not name a replacement within that time period, the county commissioners of the district's home county must name a replacement.  I.C. § 33-2716(3):

How long is the replacement's term?

The appointed replacement serves until the next trustee election.  At that time a trustee is elected to fill the remainder of the unexpired term.  I.C. § 33-2716(3):