|School board reopens process to fill seat|
|Written by Katie Tavernier|
|Wednesday, 16 June 2010|
The Oconee County Board of Education will accept
applications from the public to fill Tom Breedlove’s unexpired term on the
The decision came at a meeting on Monday when the board rejected Carter Strickland’s bid to be appointed to Breedlove’s seat. Strickland, a candidate running against board member Mack Guest, had said he would drop out of the race if the board appointed him to fill Breedlove’s unexpired term.
“We appreciate Carter Strickland for being the only candidate to put his name in the hat for the Post 5 seat,” said David Weeks, chairman of the school board. “But we would like to leave the election process be.”
At the end of April, Tom Breedlove resigned from his seat on the school board with two years left in his term. The school board opted to offer the seat to the four candidates in the upcoming election.
The board gave the four candidates until June 7 to make a decision on whether or not to apply to be appointed to the seat. Carter Strickland was the only one to ask for it.
Board members Mack Guest and Kim Argo both are up for re-election. Argo is running unopposed. Guest faces opposition in the Republican primary from Mark Thomas, and the winner of that race will face Democrat Carter Strickland in November. Had Guest or Argo opted to take Breedlove’s seat they would have had to resign from their current seats.
The board decided at Monday’s meeting not to appoint Strickland to the seat, but rather to allow others in the community to apply for the position.
“Opening it up to (the public) gives us an opportunity to have a qualified applicant and will not hinder the election process,” Argo said.
Applications are available in the central office of the Oconee County School System and must be returned by July 15. The application is also available on the school system’s website.
Candidates must have lived in the county for at least one
year and be eligible to vote in
Weeks also outlined five characteristics he said the board would be looking for in filling the seat.
A successful candidate, Weeks said, should have a “system-wide approach” to being on the board and not interested in only one school in the county. Weeks also said the successful candidate will have a team philosophy and be willing to make decisions that might be criticized by the public. He also said the right candidate will be available to other board members through email or by phone.
In early August the board will hold a special meeting to interview each of the applicants who applied for the seat. Each applicant will have three minutes to state their reasons for wanting to be on the board and for the board to ask any questions they have of the applicant.
By late August the board will have chosen its top the three applicants. In early September, a special meeting will be held where the board will interview the three applicants. By the end of September or early October the board expects to make a decision on whom to appoint to the seat.
Before the vote on Monday Strickland did not anticipate being appointed.
“I would be surprised if I am appointed,” said Strickland. “I plan on still running in the race. I don’t think the leadership of the Board of Education is what it used to be. Not that it doesn’t exist anymore, but it is eroding. And I want to get in there and help the kids of the county.”
Katie Tavernier is a
reporter for The
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