Hastings School Board member Russ Rohloff has his eyes set on a permanent school district position, in lieu of campaigning to retain his board position.
Rohloff announced last week that he is applying for the district’s director of buildings and maintenance, a managerial position overseeing the district’s buildings that works under the superintendent, and would no longer campaign for school board. A board member since 2016, Rohloff works in facility maintenance for the YMCA of Greater Minnesota and has a bachelor’s degree in facility management.
“This is what I do already for a living,” he said. "And as I was out and about actually politicking, I got district staff and community members saying we would like you to take on that position."
Rohloff has applied for the position, but has not yet heard whether or not he'll move forward in the process.
While Rohloff can't be removed from the ballot, with him no longer campaigning, that likely means at least three of the district’s four open board seats will be filled by new members. Lisa Hedin remains the only incumbent running, while eight other candidates are campaigning as well.
Board member Kelsey Waits announced in September that she was running for state office. If elected, that would mean another opening in the board too, though that would be filled separate from the current election.
Rohloff said he's seen other situations where at least three board seats are filled by new candidates and didn't think it'd be a major change.
"I don't think it's going to change the dynamic of the board itself," Rohloff said.
Rohloff said he will miss the opportunity to contribute directly to the superintendent search and that he enjoyed working on the board in his past five years.
He also is a school board member for School District 917 — a special education partner with Hastings Public Schools — and said he would be open to completing the year on that board, if approved by its members.
In 2009, Rohloff worked on the district’s facility task force and was a member of the city’s planning commission before his time as a board member.