Auburn School Board Chooses to Leave Vacant Seat Unfilled Until Next Election | Education

More than two months after announcing the resignation of a school board member from the Greater Auburn City School District, the board elected to leave the seat vacant until the next election.

The decision was made at a school council meeting on Tuesday night. Former board member Joe Sheppard said in a meeting in late October that he was stepping down effective that day.

Auburn Superintendent Jeff Pirozzolo previously told the board his options for filling the vacancy were to appoint someone, hold a special election, or leave the post vacant until the state’s school elections. in May. Pirozzolo also said that if a candidate is nominated, the body could choose to select a candidate or ask people to apply for the job, conduct interviews and then choose one of the candidates.

The board could also have referred to the list of candidates who were not elected in the 2021 board elections and nominated the one who received the second highest total of votes. Three separate resolutions for holding the special election, nominating a candidate, or leaving the seat open until May were all on the meeting’s agenda.

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Before the decision was made, Salvatore “Sam” Giangreco, Matteo Bartolotta and Jeff Gasper all pleaded to refer to the list of candidates from last year’s election. Each suggested that if the candidate with the highest number of votes was not interested, then the board would go to the next highest voter after that.

“I think the public expects this from us at this point, and I think it would be a very good gesture for the board,” said Giangreco.

Danielle Wood brought forward a motion to go ahead with the resolution to leave the position vacant until the May 2022 election. This was seconded by Dr. Rhoda Overstreet-Wilson. Wood, Overstreet-Wilson, William Andre, Chairman of the Board Ian Phillips and Vice Chairman Dr Eli Hernandez voted yes, while Bartolotta, Gasper and Giangreco voted against.

After the meeting, Wood explained why she supported leaving the post open until the election.

“It’s in three or four months,” she said. “It seems the easiest thing to do is wait. There are already elections in four months.”

Giangreco said after the meeting that he felt the board should have appointed the next highest voter in last year’s election.

“I don’t know why, in the name of God, the board chose to take this away. I don’t understand,” he said.

The seat has been empty since Sheppard left in October. The district said at the time that the board had not discussed how to handle the vacant position. At a workshop meeting on November 9, the body raised various ideas regarding the siege, but consensus was not reached on how best to proceed.

A discussion of the vacant position was not on the agenda for a board meeting on November 16. Bartolotta proposed a discussion of the unfilled seat, but it was rejected. The post became vacant at the December board meeting. After different board members gave their advice, including a couple who said they wanted more information, a motion was put forward to postpone discussion until the next meeting, which was on Tuesday. The vote was split 4-4.

Editor-in-Chief Kelly Rocheleau can be reached at (315) 282-2243 or [email protected] Follow him on Twitter @KellyRocheleau.

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