Opinion: Candidates In November Election Should Not Fill Interim Vacancies On School Committee


Photo: Hans Isaacson. Unsplash

I had a nice visit last weekend from a candidate for School Committee who was going door to door in my neighborhood. I was interested in this person’s views and experience, and I was impressed. But I want to hear more, hear from the other candidates, and watch them in a few candidate forums. Then I will vote.

At the end of our conversation I said to the candidate, “Mark me down as a 2,” meaning I’m leaning toward the candidate, but that I want to hear more from all the candidates in what is a race for a number of available seats.

Which brings me to my hope that the Town Council will decide not to appoint any of the candidates running in the November election to fill the vacancies on the School Committee and, instead, only appoint people who aren’t on the ballot to the open slots who will serve only the next few months. To do otherwise creates an inference of favoritism that we don’t need.

There are plenty of people in our community who have the experience necessary to fill the role on the School Committee, people who will serve honorably, keep the ball rolling and do no harm, and then go away, leaving the contentious issues the School Committee faces to a fresh set of officials elected by the people.

I’m less concerned about the interim school committee members having a platform for campaigning as they seek the interim appointment, and more concerned that by filling the slots with two months to go before the election in November, another issue is created where accusations will be raised that the Town Council is putting its thumb on the scale.

Jon Hite is a resident of Amherst

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3 thoughts on “Opinion: Candidates In November Election Should Not Fill Interim Vacancies On School Committee

  1. This is an excellent suggestion. Our town has an ample supply of school committee alumni, education authorities, and engaged parents who have not taken a public stand on the disposition of superintendent Morris or the resignation of school committee members and who could ably step in and help the committee to move forward with its work while turning down the temperature of the discourse and without exacerbating partisan tensions.

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