This gives our school board the opportunity to appoint an individual to serve the remainder her term - two more years. Applications are now being accepted.
A friend called me suggesting that I apply. It's an interesting thought, and I've been weighing the reasons to do so, and the reasons why not.
I've decided not to apply, and will continue the campaign to be elected to the School Board in November.
The reason is this: If elected, my intention is to drive for radical change in the way things get done in our community, and to do so I think it is important to have been elected by the people, not appointed by the very Board whose behavior I intend to change. I hope the community will lend me its backing in that mission.
Another friend said I should apply just to find out what the current School Board members think of me. If they turn me down, he says, it tells the community that the incumbents don't want me on the Board, which might further motivate the community to vote for me in November.
That kind of cloak-and-dagger, back room maneuvering is exactly what I think is wrong with the way our community is being led. I prefer to present my positions to the people of the community, let folks compare what I propose to that of the other candidates, and allow them to select, in a General Election, the two of us they think can best do the job that needs to be done.
The Appointment Process
The public may never know who the list of people are who apply for Ms. Ryan's seat, or how the Board goes about making its decision. It is not clear to me how the Sunshine Laws apply in this situation, or how much the Board has to disclose about its process and deliberations (but I will find out).
Here's what I found out about the appointment process, according to the Ohio School Boards Association website:
- The Board must fill the vacancy at its first regular meeting or special meeting no less than 10 days after the vacancy is effective. Ms Ryan's resignation is effective Sept 30, 2007, which means the Board must make its decision at its regularly scheduled meeting on October 15, or at a special meeting it calls between October 10 and October 15.
- The interviews with candidates and the deliberation about the candidates can take place in Executive Session. However the actual vote must take place in public.
- To appoint a candidate, the candidate must receive at least 3 votes of the remaining 4 Board members.
- The appointee will in this case, as I understand it, serve the remaining two years of Ms. Ryan's term.
The only thing we can be sure of is that it will be a new face, and one that is friendly to the current Board. It will also be someone who gets a seat without going to the effort of collecting 150 signatures on their nominating petitions, or running for office in the General Election, meaning the person will take office without having to reveal anything about their agenda to the public.
This selection will be very interesting.