A newcomer whose candidacy threatened to bounce an incumbent on the District 91 Board of Education has withdrawn from the race and instead, will be appointed to a two-year term.
Mary Win Connor was the only challenger to file for one of three four-year terms up for election on the school board in the K-8 district. In a four-way contest, Connor would have squared off against incumbents Sean Blaylock, Francis Mott and Glenn Garlisch. However, according to a written statement from board President Lois Bugajsky, Connor has agreed to serve the remainder of former board member Charles Marinier’s term. Marinier resigned in February.
“The agenda for the March 15 meeting will include an item for the board’s action in appointing Mrs. Connor to serve on the board of education until April 2009, completing Mr. Marinier’s term,” Bugajsky said in her written statement. “Nothing will be official until that time, but the board has committed to this course of action and will adhere to its commitment.”
In a telephone interview, Connor said it was a “no brainer” for her to accept the nomination, and the shorter term will help her decide on long-term goals with the district.
Connor will be the third member appointed to the board in 16 months. Blaylock and Mott were given the nod in late 2005 after previous board members resigned.
And though Connor’s appointment fills one vacant seat, the board will probably have two more vacancies following the April 17 election. This means that five of the seven board members will have walked into office on invitations from sitting board members.
“I think what we’re running into right now is a lack of people that want to get involved in general,” Connor said. “I don’t mean just at the school board, I mean in general.”
Both Blaylock and Mott are running uncontested for four-year terms. The remaining two years of their appointments are available to any challengers, however, no one filed for the two-year seats. The possibility exists that two candidates may run successful write-in campaigns for those two-year terms.
The four-year terms sought by Blaylock and Mott are being vacated by Steve Johnsen and Catherine Denham. The third incumbent, Garlisch, is also uncontested.
In a previous interview with the Review earlier this month, Bugajsky said the lack of candidates for school board elections is actually a symptom of a well functioning district. The board president said that if the public had reason to be concerned with how the schools are being managed, incumbents would face more challengers.