Commentary on The taxpayer supported Madison School Board’s GoVernance Plans: Replacement member and SuperintendenT search

Negassi Tesfamichael:

“Given that Mary will not be attending any future meetings, I do feel a sense of urgency in getting this filled,” Reyes said. “I don’t want to move forward through some of the important discussions and decisions we’ll have to make … so i think it is going to be imperative that we move through the process pretty rapidly. We can still do a really transparent process and move quickly through it.”

Under board policy, a vacant seat must be filled by appointment within 60 days of a resignation.

Public notice will be posted in the Wisconsin State Journal from July 12 to July 19. Applicants’ submissions will be publicly available on July 19 before the board votes to appoint a new member on July 22.

“I feel like this timeline is really tight,” board member Cris Carusi said, noting the quick turnaround between applications being due and a vote on the candidate three days later. “This feels way too compressed to make a good decision and I would argue for stretching it out even another week.”

Though there was no vote on the timeline, Reyes said that if the board feels it needs more time to review applications it could explore that option later in the month.

Anyone 18 years or older who resides in the Madison School District can apply to be considered by submitting a letter of interest to the district detailing what qualities they can bring to the School Board, a statement on three issues the district faces and how the prospective board member would address them.

Several elections are on the horizon for the seat over the next two years. Though Burke’s term would have lasted until 2021, whoever is appointed would have to decide by late December if they will run in the April 2020 election to finish out the last year of Burke’s term. Terms on the Madison School Board are three years, but whoever is appointed to Seat 2 must run to complete the one-year term before being able to run for a full three years.

Logan Wroge:

Board member Kate Toews said it “would be very beneficial” having an applicant with experience in referendums or hiring a superintendent.

The last time the School Board appointed someone to fill a vacancy was in 1997 when Nancy Mistele resigned because she was moving out of the School District. Sixteen people applied to replace her.

David Blaska, a former Dane County Board member who lost his School Board race this year to Ali Muldrow, said Monday that he will apply to fill the empty seat after saying Friday he would not.

The conservative blogger said he has “no hope of being named.”

“Still, one must fight the good fight,” he said.

Of the other two candidates who ran in the April election and lost, TJ Mertz said he is not interested in applying and Kaleem Caire said Friday he had not had enough time to make a decision. An attempt to reach Caire Monday night was not successful.


Mary Burke

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