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Dear Edgemont Community Members,

At their meeting on Tuesday, August 22, the Edgemont Board of Education voted to fill its vacancy by appointing a former Board of Education trustee, Michael Bianchi. Mr. Bianchi previously served on the Board from July 1, 2013 through June 30, 2016. He decided not to re-run for a second term.

The vacancy was created on July 20, 2017 when Trustee Kenneth Orce submitted a letter of resignation for personal reasons. Mr. Orce was in the second year of his three-year term. The Board discussed two options that are available to them according to State Law: call a special election to fill the vacancy or appoint a qualified person to fill the vacancy. After a public discussion on this topic, the Edgemont Board of Education chose to appoint. There is precedent for this choice. In 2010, a Board of Education member resigned due to relocation. A former Board member was appointed to fill the position until the annual school board vote in May.

At Tuesday’s meeting, Jennifer Darger thanked Ken Orce for his service to the Edgemont community. She then raised Michael Bianchi’s name for consideration. “Michael Bianchi has served on the Board in the past for one term, was vetted by the School Board Nominating Committee, and was previously elected to the School Board by the community.”  Jennifer said she approached Michael and he said, if asked, he would be willing to fill that vacancy.  She then asked for Board comments:

Judy Seiff, Brian Yarrington, and Monica Sganga all agreed that “among the options, appointing someone makes the most sense rather than spending district funds on a special election.”  “Choosing Michael Bianchi makes sense; he has served on the Board, is familiar with the responsibilities of a Board member, knows the community.”

Monica Sganga said, “It is a responsible approach; and it respects the process.”

Brian Yarrington said, “The recommendation for Michael seems a natural choice; he is a former Board member who has worked with Victoria in the past and voted by the community; he can come in more seamlessly.”  

A motion was put forth by Brian Yarrington, seconded by Judy Seiff in favor of the appointment of Michael Bianchi to fill a vacancy for the Board of Education until the school board election in May, 2018.  A roll call vote was taken resulting in a unanimous “yes” vote.  

Jennifer Darger concluded by stating that the SBNC will be notified of the three openings for next year.

Best regards,

Victoria Kniewel

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