Archive for Monday, March 6, 2017

School board rethinks process to appoint board member; vote to be delayed

Lawrence USD 497 school board

Lawrence USD 497 school board

March 6, 2017


A replacement to fill the vacant seat on the Lawrence school board won’t be chosen at the board’s March 13 meeting, a district official said Monday.

Instead, district officials are considering delaying the process so the district can formally interview applicants, a step the board previously was not going to undertake.

School board president Marcel Harmon on Monday told the Journal-World that the board is re-evaluating the appointment process to fill Kristie Adair’s vacant seat — specifically the part of that process that doesn’t involve formal interviews of each applicant.

Based on input from the public, “we’ve rethought interviewing candidates,” Harmon wrote in an email. Harmon also said the board was “looking at different options for doing this,” but likely wouldn’t announce a decision about any changes to the process until Tuesday afternoon at the earliest.

The Journal-World last week reported that board members did not plan on formally interviewing candidates as part of efforts to fill the vacant seat. The process, which board members said had been used twice in 2014, calls for board members to review applications independently after today’s submission deadline, select three applicants as their top choices, then discuss the merits of those applicants at a public meeting on March 13, the same meeting in which they would also appoint the new board member.

Board members would have the option of contacting applicants before that date, school board vice president Shannon Kimball told the Journal-World last week, but that any such choice would be "left up to each individual board member."

But Harmon on Monday said this decision wouldn’t be made at the March 13 meeting after all, and might occur at the board’s next regular meeting in April or at a special meeting called between March 13 and then. Harmon also said the board would share these details, once finalized, with the Journal-World, the public and the school board candidates.

“We've just been hearing from the community that they would like to see the candidates publicly interviewed and/or have a chance to publicly state their case for being a school board member,” Harmon said in an email Monday.

The deadline to apply for the position was 5 p.m. today. As of Monday afternoon, the district had received 19 applications, not including two candidates, Victoria Anderson and Enoch Kaulaity, who have withdrawn their applications.

Profiles of applicants to fill vacancy on USD 497 school board
The Journal-World has published information, as it became available, on applications for the spot vacated by Lawrence school board member Kristie Adair.

March 10 — Lori Hutfles
March 10 — Norine Spears
March 9 — Ruben Flores
March 9 — John Rury
March 8 — Jo Ann Trenary
March 8 — Jesse Brinson
March 7 — Linda J. Sheppard
March 7 — Melissa Johnson
March 6 — Kyung Hwang
March 3 — Syed A. Jamal
March 2 — Mitzi Robinson
March 1 — Steve Wallace
March 1 — William “Bill” Roth
Feb. 28 — James Hollinger
Feb. 25 — Dr. Fatima Khan
Feb. 24 — Margaret Weisbrod Morris
Feb. 23 — Mary Loveland


Melinda Henderson 1 year, 3 months ago

Um, did they have an open meeting to discuss this?

Carol Bowen 1 year, 3 months ago

Either way, they're listening to the community. That's a plus.

Matt Daigh 1 year, 3 months ago

Even though a KOMA violation may have occurred?

Carol Bowen 1 year, 3 months ago

This move demonstrates an effort to be more open than in the past.

Matt Daigh 1 year, 3 months ago

I understand your point, Carol. Please understand mine - although well-intentioned, it appears all this decision-making could be in violation of KOMA. Just because it might be a good idea does not make an illegal act legal. Anyone desiring more openness would not favor KOMA violations.

Carol Bowen 1 year, 3 months ago

Yes, I understand. I'm just trying to offer balance. My philosophy is to critique but offer support for a new direction rather than box them into a corner. Thank you for adding to my comment.

David Holroyd 1 year, 3 months ago

"rethought" means how do we not put Mary Loveland on the list.


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