Seat likely to stay va­cant un­til De­cem­ber.

The Phoenix - - FRONT PAGE - By Eric Devlin ede­vlin@21st-cen­tu­ry­ @Eric_Devlin on Twit­ter

It ap­pears the va­cant seat on the Spring-Ford Area School Board will stay that way — at least for a short while any­way.

The seat once held by for­mer board mem­ber Todd Wolf, has sat va­cant for nearly three months af­ter he sub­mit­ted a let­ter of res­ig­na­tion. The school board ac­cepted the res­ig­na­tion in June and then had 30 days to choose a re­place­ment.

The board chose not to act, mean­ing any­one from the dis­trict’s Re­gion 2 could pe­ti­tion the Mont­gomery County Court of Com­mon Pleas to ap­point some­one to fill the spot. Nei­ther can­di­date run­ning for the seat in Novem­ber, Kath­leen Dren­nan and Clin­ton Jack­son, has de­cided to do that.

And it seems no one else in the dis­trict has any in­ter­est in fill­ing the seat tem- porar­ily ei­ther, said board Pres­i­dent Joe Ciresi Mon­day.

“No one has ap­plied for it,” he said. “As Mrs. Dren­nan and Mr. Jack­son both al­luded to, nei­ther one of them wants to ap­ply for it. They feel that it needs to go to the pub­lic since it’s so close to the elec­tion. So I would as­sume at this point that seat will re­main empty un­til the Novem­ber elec­tion and be filled in De­cem­ber by the pub­lic.”

If a judge were to ap­point some­one to fill the seat tem­po­rar­ily, it would only be for about three months be­fore ei­ther Dren­nan or Jack­son takes over in De­cem­ber. Ciresi said leav­ing the seat va­cant is the right de­ci­sion given the short time frame.

“I think it’s a fair process at this point,” Ciresi said. “If we had two years to go I think it would be dif­fer­ent. But it’s so close to an elec­tion, it’s the best way to do it.”

Both Dren­nan and Jack­son pre­vi­ously weighed in on the va­cancy sit­u­a­tion with Dig­i­tal First Me­dia.

In July Dren­nan flat out re­jected the idea of peti- tion­ing a court to al­low her to fill the seat adding she would not have ac­cepted an ap­point­ment by the school board.

“My thoughts are that it has been at least 12months, maybe 16 months, since Todd Wolf has been there,” Dren­nan said. “So the fact that it would be open for two or three months, I don’t see the ma­jor dif­fer­ence fromthe way the board has con­ducted their busi­ness.”

Dren­nan said she felt vot­ers should be the ones to de­cide who fills the seat when they go to the polls in No- vem­ber and said ap­point­ing ei­ther can­di­date run­ning for the spot would be un­fair.

As for whether she would ac­cept an ap­point­ment from ei­ther the board or from a judge, Dren­nan said she’s al­ready told Ciresi she would not.

“I would not ac­cept it,” she said. “It would go against my prin­ci­ples. It’s not for a judge to de­cide, it’s for the peo­ple to de­cide.”

In June Jack­son said he felt the board needed to make a de­ci­sion.

“I think the board needs to act on it and do some­thing,” he said. “To do noth­ing, I think, is un­fair. I un­der­stand both sides of it from pre­vi­ously serv­ing on the board and go­ing through this process pre­vi­ously. But I think the board needs to do some­thing and not leave it in the hands of the courts.”

At the time, Jack­son hadn’t de­cided whether he would pe­ti­tion a judge to fill the seat, say­ing he needed to weigh his op- tions and de­cide what was in the best in­ter­est of his cam­paign.

A Lim­er­ick res­i­dent, Wolf, 59, works as the pres­i­dent of the con­struc­tion con­sult­ing firm Field Gen­eral Inc. He cited per­sonal rea­sons and busi­ness com­mit­ments in his May 26 let­ter to the board as to why he was step­ping down. He did not seek re­elec­tion in the May 16 pri­mary and missed most of the board meet­ings in the past year.

“If we had two years to go I think it would be dif­fer­ent. But it’s so close to an elec­tion, it’s the best­way to do it.” — Joe Ciresi, SpringFord Area School Board pres­i­dent

Clin­ton Jack­son

Kath­leen Dren­nan

Joe Ciresi

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