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Musical Chairs for Board of Ed Leadership?

Officer elections set for Tuesday evening.

With half of the eight member Board of Education being sworn in at Tuesday night's budget meeting at Cos Cob School, the first order of business for the new board will be to elect its officers — Chair, Vice Chair and Secretary.

The Board of Education is a bipartisan board (4 Democrats and 4 Republicans) established pursuant to the authority of Sections 9-203 to 9-206a of the Connecticut General Statutes. While each board member is elected to a four-year term, the officer positions are one-year terms. The election of the officer positions usually occur at a regular November Board of Education meeting.

Per Board of Education Policy G-002, the "Board shall elect officers within 30 days of an election or at its regular meeting in November, whichever is later." According to the policy, the election of officers "shall require a written record vote by a majority of the Board. The written ballots shall be made available for public inspection within forty-eight hours, excluding Saturday, Sunday and legal holidays."

In accordance with state statutes, if the board has not elected a chairperson and secretary within one (1) month following board member elections because of a tie (4-4) vote, the Greenwich Board of Selectmen shall appoint a chairperson and secretary.

Steve Anderson has been board chairman for the past two years. Prior to Anderson, the board chair was occupied by Nancy Weissler, Colleen Giambo, Sandy Waters, Genny Krob. What is notable about the past chairs is that they are all Republican. 

Last year, the election of board officers was held at the Nov. 18 meeting. At that time, there was one individual's name put forward in nomination for the chairmanship. It was Democrat Leslie Moriarty who nominated Anderson which resulted in a favorable, but not unamious vote: 6 in favor with Republicans Marianna Ponns Cohen opposed and Peter Sherr abstaining.

For the vice chair position, Nancy Kail nominated Moriarty with no other names being put forward. However, as in the case with Anderson, the vote was 6 in favor with both Ponns Cohen and Sherr opposed.

For the position of secretary, the sole nomination was by Moriarty for Michael Bodson, who was able to garner 7 favorable votes with Ponns Cohen opposed.

Anderson, Moriarty and Bodson were first elected as chair, vice chair and secretary, respectively at the Nov. 19, 2009 meeting, albeit in that election the vote was unamious.

Historically, the board holds these elections without controversary. However, Sherr has been quoted to say that he does not intend to support Anderson's re-election bid for chairman.

The impact of Sherr's stated intention could be something never seen — the election of a newcomer to the board assuming the position. Sherr himself could be positioning himself for a run at the role though to date he has made no comment reflecting this desire.

If Anderson is not elected Tuesday evening, the most likely scenario however may be the music stopping with a Democrat in the Chair's seat.

The meeting will be held at 7 p.m. at the Cos Cob School.

Historian November 28, 2011 at 11:28 PM
Let's hope that the new Board handles the entire process with a lot more dignity and mutual respect than the old Board. Everyone wants to hear constructive dissent and discourse but its time to see leadership put into place without the acrimony and histronics of the past. I hope they can get out of the gates without a stumble.

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