Another appointed BoE member in Fayette’s future

As of next spring, two of the five members of the Board of Education will never have faced the voters of Fayette County for the posts they hold.

That’s because for the second time in just over two years, the board will have a mid-term vacancy, and must appoint — not elect — a new member of the five-person board.

School Board member Mary Kay Bacallao in mid-December announced that she will resign her Post 2 seat in March to run for Georgia state school superintendent. School board Chairman Marion Key last week said the board will follow current procedure that requires Bacallao’s successor to be appointed rather than holding a special election to fill the seat.

Bacallao made the announcement at the Dec. 6 meeting of the Ga. House Republican Caucus. The announcement came as Bacallao was participating on a panel debating the Common Core standards where she spoke in opposition to the standards.

Contacted about Bacallao’s announcement to resign her seat in March and how the school board will replace her, Key said the board is still operating under the local legislation constitutional amendment pertaining specifically to Fayette County that was in effect when the late Sam Tolbert died while in office in 2011.

The board called for applicants and chose one, Leonard Presberg. Within three months, the same board appointed Presberg to the chairmanship of the board, despite his never having run for an elective office.

In the case of an anticipated new vacancy, the board will again appoint a new member, this time the successor for the Post 2 seat, Key said.

Key said the board is expected to use a similar methodology to that used to fill Tolbert’s seat when he passed away during the first year of his term. Assuming the same methodology is used, the board will solicit information from interested citizens living in the Post 2 geographic area.

Those interested in serving the remainder of Bacallao’s term that expires in December 2016 will be asked to submit a letter of interest and a resume. Prior to the appointment, the candidates will be interviewed by school board members at a public meeting.

Key noted that the current district voting map approved by the U.S. Dept. of Justice is under review in federal court and, if in place by March, could establish geographic boundaries different from those existing today.

“We are waiting to see what the judge does,” Key said.

Speaking on the local legislation constitutional amendment, board member Bob Todd said it has been in effect for the past few decades.

phil sukalewski
phil sukalewski's picture
Joined: 03/17/2010
So much for school choice

Seems like more people in Fayette county would have commented on this news & demand that this procedure be changed to require a special election to fill vacated school board seats.

So much for local citizens having a say in the school system.

Robert W. Morgan
Robert W. Morgan's picture
Joined: 10/26/2005
Who really cares about having a say in the school system?

Not many. Those that should are disgusted by the state and federal government meddling in everything - especially that Common Core nonsense. A couple of generations from now we are going to have nothing resembling a historical perspective on our country or any basic math or science or reading or even basic English skills, like speaking - you know. We will know how to use a computer, apply for government aid, enroll in Obamacare and vote Democrat, but not much else.

Oh yea, we also have a judge telling us 4/5 of us can't vote for Mary Kay's replacement, even if we actually did have a special election - so what is the point? Most of us have just given up, I know I have.

Mary Kay Bacallao
Mary Kay Bacallao's picture
Joined: 02/06/2006
Please do not give up

I know I am not your favorite person, but please do not give up. We need locally elected officials to make the decisions about Fayette County Schools. Authority has been taken away with recent legislation and non statutory conditions that accompanied grant funding from the U S DOE. We are trying to change that. There is something we can do to get our freedom back. We are working for your freedom.

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