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General Brown BOE won’t fill vacant board seat

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DEXTER — The Board of Education here has one less task on its hands.

Board members voted 3-2 during a meeting Monday not to fill a vacant board seat left by former member John Hardy, who resigned Jan. 14. Board member Michael E. Kucharski was absent from the meeting.

The decision came after Jack J. Boak, Jefferson-Lewis Board of Cooperative Educational Services superintendent, told board members that the board could either replace the member by seeking letters of interest from community members or looking at vote totals from the most recent board election and appointing a former candidate to the open seat. After much discussion, the board chose neither option.

“There’s six of us now,” said Jeffrey West, board vice president. “One more I don’t think will put us over the edge one way or another.”

Mr. West said he was concerned about the time it takes a board member to be acquainted with the position, while simultaneously having to help develop a district spending plan and find superintendent candidates to fill that post when Superintendent Stephan J. Vigliotti Sr. resigns June 30.

Board member Cynthia L. Humerickhouse and board President Tasha L. Richards, who voted against the resolution, did not completely agree with him and members Bruce C. Strough and Daniel J. Dupee II.

“I don’t love the idea of leaving a seat vacant,” Mrs. Richards said. “I feel as though the board should be full because we all should be responsible for making decisions of the district.”

Mr. Boak’s guidance to the board on that issue came after he outlined the board’s superintendent search process. He worked with board members Monday to determine their desired salary range, which they set at $120,000 to $140,000, and residency requirements. They decided residency within the district would be strongly recommended for the next superintendent.

He supplied board members with a binder full of information each will need to help in the search process. Mr. Boak said attention to detail is key because a superintendent search is the “most important decision the board will make.”

He estimated the board will receive a pool of candidates of about 15 to 25 people, with applications due in April. Throughout the search, Mr. Boak said, the board should remain open with the community and include community members in the search process. As the board thinks of desired qualifications it would like the next superintendent to have, Mr. Boak said board members should also receive similar input from the community.

“The idea is to get as much feedback as possible,” he said.

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