The Chapel Hill-Carrboro Board of Education is poised to vote Thursday whether to fill a vacant one-year board position with a former school board member or open it up to the public.
A spot on the seven-member board opened in September when Joe Green resigned to take a new job in Wisconsin. The opening coincides with the district’s search for a new superintendant, the first in 19 years.
Chairman Mike Kelley said there are good reasons to consider tapping a former member to serve out Green’s term, though he said he had no particular person in mind.
“If we followed the old process, the new school member would not have experience in serving on the board. They would not be trained,” Kelley said. “It really takes a year to understand how everything works and all the processes.”
Filling the spot with someone who has past board experience also is the most democratic because the community previously voted for the person, Kelley said.
Choosing a veteran to fill an open seat is a change from the way the board filled the last four vacancies. But reappointing an old a former member is not
unusual, especially if a board has something big coming up, said Allison Schafer, director of policy for the N.C. School Boards Association.
“There’s no statutory guidance on how a board should fill a vacancy so boards do it differently,” she said.“It’s not that unusual for boards to choose a past board member to fill a vacant spot.”
If the board decides to pull from the veteran pool instead of collecting new resumes, recent board members would be the best candidates, Kelley said. He noted that four former members had served on the board within the last five years: Lisa Stuckey, Jean Hamilton, Liz Carter and Nick DydowDidow.
“I think recent experience is more useful than experience from 20 years ago,” he said.
You can comment on how the board should fill the spot at its meeting 6 p.m. Thursday at Chapel Hill Town Hall. School board members can also be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 967-8211