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.