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Tuesday, December 18, 2012

Timeline Set to Fill Ward 1 School Committee Seat

School Committee Chair, Paul Bockelman, has set a timeline for the School Committee to fill the seat left vacant by Maureen Cuff-Bastardi. Maureen was sworn-in to replace the resigning Bill Roche as Ward 1 Alderman.

Chairman Bockelman writes:
At last night's School Committee meeting, the Committee voted unanimously to follow an inclusive, transparent, and deliberative process to fill the vacancy in Ward One. We have balanced this openness with acting expeditiously to ensure that the residents of Ward One are represented during upcoming School Committee deliberations.

The process is as follows:

a. 12/17/12: School Committee receives notice of vacancy.

b. 12/18/12: School Committee publicizes vacancy in available media (Somerville Journal, Somerville Patch, Somerville News, other media outlets, Somerville Public Schools website and others)

c. 1/10/13: Deadline for responses to be delivered to the Secretary to the School Committee (that's the Superintendent) by 5:00 p.m. Responses should include a statement of interest and a summary of experience or resume.

d. TBD: School Committee reviews submissions. School Committee selects candidate(s) to interview.

e. TBD: School Committee interviews candidate(s) at location in East Somerville. Possible vote on preferred candidate by ballot.

f. TBD: Backup date for further discussions/interviews/vote.

Exact dates will be determined by coordinating the schedules of members of the School Committee and the Mayor and incoming President of the Board of Aldermen.

We will work to fill the vacancy no later than February 4th.

Applicants must be a "qualified voter" of Ward One to be considered.

I hope we get a lot of great candidates. Please pass the word!

Paul Bockelman, chair
School Committee


Anonymous said...

This seems wrong. The school committee should NOT inure more qualifications or burdens to hold that office to an interm Member than the qualifications it would be to be ELECTED to the office.

To be elected, all you need to do is live in the ward and get a majority of votes. To be appointed, you need to put in a resume, go through an interview process, etc.

It almost seems unconstitutional to require an appointee to be more qualified than what the election law requires.

Anonymous said...

To be elected, you have to first get enough signatures on a petition to get on the ballot. You also, generally speaking, need to campaign, and one hopes that involves talking to voters about your qualifications and positions, and convincing them you are the best person for the job.

The School Committee is not imposing burdensome requirements. It is asking for information from people who want to serve in an appointed position. And whoever is appointed will automatically have name recognition, experience and incumbency that will give him or her a huge leg up in next November's election.

What's better when there's not enough time to hold a special election -- spreading the word and trying to find the best person, or doing what the Aldermen did to create this vacancy, which is take the recommendation of the outgoing person and make an immediate appointment? Doesn't the first option sound more democratic and inclusive? (I know nothing about Maureen Bastardi and her qualifications to serve as Alderman. My comments are directed at process, not personalities.)