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School board has a vacant seat to fill

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Amy Bland has decided not to accept the appointment

Staff report

 

The District 3 seat on the Marion County Board of Education is vacant after Amy Bland, who defeated Butch Cecil in the November General Election, decided not to accept the appointment.

Bland sent an email to Marion County Superintendent Taylora Schlosser and the Enterprise on Friday afternoon. Her email reads as follows:

 

Mrs. Schlosser,

It is with deep regret that I have decided I will not be able to accept my appointment to the Marion County Board of Education. Since the election, I have been made aware of KRS 61.080 that describes a state office and my employment by the Marion County Fiscal Court as “incompatible offices.” This is different from the KRS that lists School Board eligibility requirements, and I was not aware of it until after the election.

There’s nobody more disappointed than I am that I will be unable to serve the students and teachers of Marion County on the School Board. During the campaign I heard time and time again how unhappy the voters in my district were. I promised to put students and teachers’ well-being front and center, and to do my part to create transparency and accountability amongst the Board. It is my sincere hope that whoever is chosen to fill this seat will work to do the same.  

I hope you won't hesitate to reach out to me if there's anything I can do as a citizen/parent that will benefit our fine District. 

Sincerely,

Amy C. Bland

 

During the General Election, Bland defeated Cecil 805 to 312. Cecil has been serving on the school board since 2015. 

During the election, Bland, who is an accounts receivable clerk for the Marion County Fiscal Court, knew there was a possibility she could be ineligible to hold the school board office. According to KRS 160.180, a person isn’t eligible for membership on a board of education if he or she “holds an elective federal, state, county or city office.” School board service is considered a state office. 

However, as Bland stated during the election, she is not an “elected official” of the county, and she doesn’t hold any office when it concerns her employment by Marion County Fiscal Court. But, she states in her letter to Superintendent Schlosser, she’s learned since the election that her job with the Marion County Fiscal Court is “incompatible” with holding a seat on the school board.

According to KRS 160.190, the vacancy on the school board will be filled by the chief state school officer within 90 days after the vacancy occurs. Superintendent Schlosser said she will be forwarding Bland’s letter to Commissioner of Education Wayne Lewis, and once he receives the letter the process will begin.

“In the past, his office has worked with our office on notices to the public, taking applications and a place to interview potential board members,” Schlosser said in an email to the Enterprise. “His office makes the appointment.”

The local board of education can make nominations and any person can nominate himself/herself or another for the office.

The person appointed will hold the office until the next General Election.