Friday, October 14, 2016

Two Interviewed for Pottstown School Board Vacancy

Marissa Bush
Bonita Barnhill

Thursday night two Pottstown School Board hopefuls made their case to be appointed to the board to replace Andrew Kefer, who resigned last month because he and his family moved out of state.

The two women who applied to fill the slot are Marissa Bush, a new resident in town, and Bonita Barnhill, a longtime resident who is a former school board member.

As solicitor Stephen Kalis explained, whomever the board selects will serve until the board re-organizes in December of 2017.

After that, the seat will be considered open and the two years remaining on Kefer's term will be filled by whomever wins the spring 2017 primary and fall 2017 election.

Kalis, who conducted the interviews for the board, said the board could vote on the spot or, as he recommended, wait until the voting meeting of Monday, Oct. 24, which is what happened, although there was some fairly extensive discussion of each candidate by the board members who were there.

To be selected, a candidate must earn five votes of the board.

Complicating matters is the fact that two board members -- Amy Francis and Ron Williams -- were not present for the interviews.

(Luckily for them, a certain civic-minded Mercury reporter recorded both interviews on video and they can be viewed by one and all. They appear in the Twitter stream pasted below).

Further complicating matters is the fact that board member Emanuel Wilkerson will not be present when the voting does occur on Oct. 24.

As a result -- assuming the rest of the board members are there  -- there will be only seven board members present from which the five necessary votes must be culled.

At board member Thomas Hylton's suggestion, the board intends to proceed on Oct. 24 as it did for selecting a school board president. A motion will be made to appoint a new board member and the votes will consist of each board member naming their choice.

Should five votes be reached this way, the decision will have been made, all will be right with the world, and there will be much rejoicing.

But in the case of a 4-3 vote, neither candidate will have earned five votes, and the old method of nominating a single person and trying to attract five "ayes" will be put into play.

As for what the candidates said, well, for that you will have to watch the videos below!

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