At noon today is the deadline for applicants for a short-term seat on the Fairfield school board.
Due to the timing of this coming fall’s school board election — and the vacancy caused by the recent resignation of Fairfield Board of Education Vice President Dan Hare — whomever is appointed to fill the empty seat will have to run again in November.
Or not, said Fairfield School Board President Michael Berding.
Applicants can also choose to just serve out the remainder of Hare’s term, which expires on Jan. 1, without putting their name on the Nov. 5 ballot.
But if candidates do decide to seek a full four-year term starting on Jan. 1, they will have to be on the Nov. 5 ballot.
As of Thursday there were only two applicants, but Berding remains optimistic more will file for the public office.
“I’m a little disappointed. It is a huge responsibility and you have to be passionate about public education to do this job,” said Berding, who is in his second term on the board, which governs the 10,000-student school system.
Applicants who do want to serve past Jan. 1 will also have to gather 150 valid signatures of registered voters by Aug. 5 to get on the Nov. 5 ballot.
Under Ohio law, the Fairfield school board has until June 6 to fill the seat vacancy. The board is scheduled to meet in executive session on that day to interview candidates, and later that evening swear in the new member.
The application includes questions about “what characteristics or strengths do you bring to the board of education?”
Applicants are also asked to “identify three issues that require the Fairfield City School District Board of Education’s immediate attention?”
“We’re seeking someone who is open-minded and not coming in with a personal agenda,” he said.
Applicants must be 18 years old and a resident of the Fairfield school district, which includes the city of Fairfield and Fairfield Twp.
The board is composed of five members. Three seats will be filled by candidates chosen by voters on Nov. 5.
For more applicant information go to Fairfield School’s website.