We went on a search to find the Columbia Borough School Board policy that identifies what happens when a president of the board resigns for whatever reason. The search was not a simple one and had not someone shed some light on where to find the elusive reference, we would not be able to report that newly elected School Board president Cole Knighton was correct when he remarked the procedure for selecting a new president is in the Board’s policy.
We’re trying to connect the dots and make sense out of the policy. Remember, practical parliamentary procedures do not apply in this case.
Dot … An “Insider” article about the June 16 School Board meeting at Lancaster Online: “Board member Janet Schwert made a motion to appoint Cole Knighton as the new president. The motion passed with a unanimous vote.” and “Also at the June 16 meeting, the board voted unanimously to approve Keith Combs to fill a vacant seat, then swore him into the position.”
Of course, people not registered for Insider news would not know that because the minutes from that meeting are not posted at the School Board’s Website.
Dot … From the Board’s Policy: “Rules of Construction – In ascertaining the intent of the Board in adopting a policy or procedure, or of the administration in establishing a regulation, the following presumptions, among other legally applicable presumptions, may be used:
- That neither the Board nor the administration intends a result that is absurd, impossible of execution, or unreasonable.
Really, not having an assumed parliamentary procedure that has a vice president move into a vacated presidency is not absurd?
Dot … From the Board’s Policy: “Vacancies – A vacancy shall occur by reason of death, resignation, removal from a district or region, or otherwise. Such vacancy shall be filled in accordance with the Sunshine Act and by appointment by a majority vote of the remaining members of the Board within thirty (30) days of the occurrence of the vacancy. The Board member so appointed shall serve until the first Monday in December after the first municipal election occurring more than sixty (60) days following his/her appointment. When a majority of the memberships are vacant, such vacancies shall be filled by the Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County.
Dot … From the Board’s Policy: A second reference appears in another part of the policy: “Vacancies in any office shall be filled by Board election; such officers shall serve for the remainder of the unexpired term.”
Dot … From the Board’s Policy: “The President shall preside at all Board meetings. In the absence, disability or disqualification of the President, the Vice-President shall act instead. If neither person is present, a Board member shall be elected President pro tempore by a plurality of those present to preside at that meeting only.” Without access to the minutes from the June 16 meeting, citizens do not know who was technically in charge when “Janet Schwert made a motion to appoint Cole Knighton as the new president.”
Dot … Nearly every citizen in this country, and much of the world, we suspect, knows what happens when the President of the United States dies or is removed from office. In Columbia, on the School Board of Directors, nobody (wink, wink) knows who the next president will be.
Dot … From the Board’s Policy: “The President shall preside at all Board meetings. In the absence, disability or disqualification of the President, the Vice-President shall act instead.”
Dot … From the Board’s Policy: “All checks approved by the Board shall be signed by the President, Treasurer and Secretary. The Vice-President may sign for the President.”
It’s looking like the vice president holds some responsibility … but will not be selected to become president. Always a bridesmaid, we reckon.
Meanwhile, in other news …