Thursday, September 17, 2009

School DIstrict 89 Deadlocked Over Board Vacancy...

According to the Proviso Herald, although seven candidates showed up Friday with hopes of filling a vacant Elementary School District 89 School Board seat, no one was selected.

School Board members interviewed the potential candidates to fill former board member Guy Ric Cervone's seat until April 2011. Cervone resigned from the board seat after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges in July.

Those who were being considered for the board seat were: Johnny Diggs, Hugues Zoffoun, Corey Cooper, Gladys Culbreth, Antonio Favela, Veronica Lopez and Marsha Ballenger.

The board went into executive session to interview all of the candidates. But when the board reconvened in the open meeting, the six members were split down the middle on their selections.

A motion was made to appoint Diggs to the seat, but failed 3-3 due to lack of a majority vote. Board members Maria Urso, Jaime Anguiano and Loretta Gustello voted against his appointment and Lequita Neely, Regina Rivers and Grady Rivers Jr. voted in favor of it.

Another motion was made to appoint Veronica Lopez to the seat, but it also failed 3-3 with the three trustees who voted against Diggs voting in favor of Lopez and the other three board members voting against Lopez.

"I supported Johnny Diggs and we had to narrow it (the field) down and we could not come to an agreement," Neely said.

"Other names could have been called and that's what it boils down to. I wish we could come to an agreement. I had no idea it would be a stalemate. I thought we were going to be able to decide on a board member."

"If you are indecisive, you should abstain," she said. "So that (the vote deadlock) took me by surprise. Are you truly voting your conscience or are you voting to block something?"

The School Board has 45 days to choose a replacement. Rivers said the deadline for the board to choose a replacement is Sept. 28 and believes the board will not be meeting until next month, which is when their next scheduled board meeting will take place.

Illinois School code states that if a school board does not fill the vacancy within that time frame, the regional superintendent of schools has the authority to fill the seat within 30 days.

This isn't the first time the District 89 board has been evenly split in voting on issues. At their Aug. 13 meeting the board was split on whether or not to keep the district's health insurance broker.

Elementary School District 89 serves parts of Maywood, Bellwood, Melrose Park and Broadview.

No comments: