Board now has two seats to fill
By Jeff Simms
The Beacon City School District now has two vacancies to fill after Frank Garnot, whose term was due to end in 2018, has resigned from the board.
Garnot, who had been on the school board for seven years, informed district officials of his decision on Monday, board President Anthony White said. White added that Garnot cited personal commitments and time constraints as the reasons for his decision.
Board member Jose Munoz resigned from the board prior to its June 20 meeting, so, now with Garnot’s resignation, the nine-member board is down to seven.
“It definitely changes the discussion about how to fill the seats,” White said Tuesday, adding that he was “a little disheartened” that the board had thus far been unable to come to a decision on how to fill the Munoz vacancy.
Reached earlier this month, a spokesperson for the New York State School Boards Association said that there is no specific protocol in place to fill school board vacancies.
“The law does not provide any details, so each school board has to decide what works best for them,” said Al Marlin, the communications manager for the school boards association. “Some boards appoint the person who received the next-highest number of votes at the previous election, or seek candidates from among previous board members, or solicit applications from qualified residents. What one board does could be different from the last time there was a vacancy, depending on the circumstances.”
After Munoz’s seat was vacated, the Beacon board had discussed soliciting applications for candidates to fill the seat or possibly holding a special election — although that option would come at a considerable cost to the district (approximately $13,000, according to interim Superintendent Ann Marie Quartironi).
Whatever the choice, it probably needs to be made soon, White said.
“We’re still a nine-member board and we need five (members) for a quorum,” he said. “We have to make sure we have enough for a quorum.”