The Board of Education decided with a 6-2 vote Wednesday night that the next person appointed to the board will serve for 18 months.
That’s because the board has decided to name a replacement
for Madden after July 16, which permits that person to serve until January of
If the replacement was named prior to that date, they would only be
permitted to serve for the rest of the year, and an election would be held this November.
Madden is resigning from the board effective June 30 after being elected to Ocean City Council on May 13. He officially joins council July 1.
“The advantage to having someone serve longer is that it takes a while for a board member to learn everything, there’s a learning curve involved and if they have to run in January, that doesn’t give them much time,” Board Solicitor Michael Stanton advised. “The other side is should you let the people decide who will serve.”
This decision proved difficult for members of the board, including Jon Batastini, who struggled between what’s best for the school and what’s best for the board before finally voting yes.
“I feel strongly that we owe it to the citizens to let them vote,” said Board Member Jacqueline McAlister, who voted no along with Board Vice President Thomas Oves. “I understand the benefits of having someone be able to serve longer, but we’re not appointed. We’re elected by the people.”
Before the vote, Stanton said offering an 18-month term might encourage more people to apply for the position.
According to Superintendent of Schools Dr. Kathleen Taylor, the school district will advertise for the position within the next two weeks, with interviews targeted to take place in July. The board’s goal is to have its newest member in place for the August meeting.