The Urbana City Schools Board of Education will remain a member short for at least another week after a special meeting Monday failed to garner the necessary majority vote needed to appoint a replacement for longtime board member Warren Stevens, who passed away Sept. 28.
Following guidelines outlined in the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) which allows BOEs to solicit possible replacement candidates according to their particular bylaws, district Treasurer Mandy Hildebrand said the board reached out to prospective candidates by running a legal notice in the Daily Citizen and on the district’s website.
During the five-day submission period, Hildebrand said, the BOE received eight letters of interest from individuals residing in the school district. From there, three individuals – Yale Cline, Darrell Thomas and Sarah Finch – were brought in for interviews.
Following an executive session to consider appointment of a public official held at the beginning of Monday’s meeting, the board considered a motion to appoint Cline, which ended in a 2-2 vote (board members Alyssa Dunham and Jan Engle voted no). A motion was then made to appoint Thomas, which also ended in a 2-2 vote (board members Jack Beard and Tim Lacy voted no). No vote was taken to appoint Finch.
“I thought all three people were quality. I just voiced what I felt,” Lacy said. “I commend all three people for having the courage to come in for these interviews.”
Lacy added the fact a replacement has yet to be appointed isn’t necessarily “a bad thing.”
“If anything, it proves that all four of us are trying to do the very best we can do to promote the school and help the kids,” he said.
Per the ORC, the board has until Oct. 28 (30 days from the start of the vacancy) to appoint a replacement to serve until the board’s next scheduled election in November 2017 (term ending Dec. 31, 2017). If no individual is appointed by the deadline, the selection process will be turned over to the Champaign County Probate Court.
Council agreed to meet at 5:30 p.m. on Monday, Oct. 17, in the district’s administrative building at 711 Wood St. to discuss the three candidates again for possible appointment.
“I honestly can’t feel there is going to be a big change,” Dunham said. “That’s just the way I feel right now. To come to this result tonight, I’m fairly disappointed to say the least.”
Joshua Keeran may be reached at 937-652-1331 (ext. 1774) or on Twitter @UDCKeeran.