Open School Board Seat Update

BoardOpen School Board Seat Update

These days when I am not being asked about Duke Energy and its effect on our schools, the next popular topic I am asked about is the open School Board district 4 seat recently vacated.

I wanted to take this opportunity to help answer some of the questions I am asked and update you to information we have received.

Florida statue provides that when a vacancy occurs, the Governor is empowered to appoint the replacement until the next available election cycle.  Therefore Florida Governor Rick Scott will appoint the next School Board Member for District 4.  It is my understanding that that board member’s appointment would last until November 2014.  If the appointee would like to continue as a school board member they would need to qualify and run for the seat in the 2014 election and that term would be for 2 years and then run again in 2016 for the full 4 year term.

At this time approximately 10 people have already completed the application with the Florida Governor’s Appointments Office.  We understand this is only the beginning as many others are applying as well, and the Appointments Office has indicated they are early in the process.  As with all School Board Members this is a non-partisan office and as such the Governor’s appointment for this office is non-partisan.  Any one belonging or not belonging to a political party may apply.  For those interested in applying for the position you would visit the Florida Governor’s Appointments Office and fill out the Gubernatorial Appointments Questionnaire form.

Another question often asked has been about the residency requirement.  A school board member like other local constitutional officers must live in the district they would be running for.  In the school board’s case we must live in the district upon qualifying for the next election which is long before we are actually elected.   As to the appointment of constitutional officers it is a bit more complicated.  The law is not fully defined as to the residency requirement for appointments of constitutional officers.  From information I have received from the Governor’s office it is my understanding that Governors have discretion and authority to ultimately decide if the appointed is required to live in a specific district. We have received information by the Governor’s Appointments Office staff that Governor Scott will be requiring that the appointed person he selects lives in or will relocate to School Board District 4 upon appointment.

Lastly I am asked if there is anyone I have in mind for the open position.  What I hope and pray for is a person that desires and is passionate about serving the students, families and staff of Citrus County Schools.  I believe this person should be supportive of public education in our great county and state and have demonstrated that by their past work, volunteering and commitment to our students and schools.  The person should understand the roles and responsibilities of a school board member in the state of Florida.   Florida school board members are one of only a few states in the country where the school board members are constitutional officers, whose responsibilities are defined in the state’s constitution.  Florida school boards also have some of the broadest governing powers in the country.  In many parts of the country often a school board manages only two or three schools; in Citrus alone we have 21 schools. As a school board member you are one of five in a board body that must succeed for the students of Citrus County.  The person who is appointed must understand the complex and unique educational challenges of Florida’s public school system.  Being a School Board Representative is not simply a job, it is a responsibility and commitment to our students, families and schools.  I believe the type of person who will best serve is one who wants to be a school board member and be an active representative for students and schools. All of those willing I encourage you to apply.

Comments are closed.