In the matter of replacing former board member Mike Piccio’s seat last evening, the Red Clay Consolidated Board of Education came very close to breaking the law.
A motion to appoint a replacement came up. Delaware state law dictates that a school board shall replace a vacant board seat with an appointee until the next regular school board election. Piccio’s former seat expires in 2019 so the new appointed board member would only serve on that seat for nine months. The vote came…
Three board members voted yes and three voted no. A tie vote meant the motion failed. But it really shouldn’t have come up for a vote because of what exists in state code. As well, it is also board police in conformity with state law. State Rep. Kim Williams, who was in attendance at the meeting, immediately recognized the glaring error and immediately notified Superintendent Dr. Merv Daugherty. As she wrote on Facebook at the time:
The Red Clay Board vote was 3 no to 3 yes to fill the vacant school board seat in District E. The motion failed because of a tie vote. The policy states the following: A vacancy for any reason other than the expiration of a term shall be filled by appointment for the remainder the fiscal year. A new member shall be elected at the next regular Board Election to fill the remainder of the previous member’s term. They did not follow the board policy.
Daugherty forced the board to rescind their vote. At this point, the Board is accepting letters of interest from those who reside in the Wilmington nominating district.
The board voted for the President and Vice-President titles. Martin Wilson is the new President and Faith Newton is the Vice-President. The board will vote on the appointee for Piccio’s seat at their October board meeting.
One way or another, the Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education will have a new board President tonight. Mike Piccio is gone. Usually, the President-Elect would naturally assume the role. Which would be Martin Wilson. But apparently some folks involved with the district are throwing around a very old allegation that Wilson doesn’t live in the nominating district he was elected from. I reached out to a few other folks who said this old chestnut is completely false and there are other factors at play.
My question would be “why is this coming up now?” I was directed to an old Kilroy’s Delaware article that is well over a decade old. I couldn’t find it. I believe Kilroy used BlogSpot before WordPress so they were purged a long time ago. But I did find an article from 2010 where Kilroy endorsed Wilson for his second run on the board. Wilson is African-American and with all the movement by this board about equity, it would be good to have an African-American President of the board.
It appears there are others on the Red Clay board who desire the President and President-Elect roles. And they haven’t exactly been quiet about this fact. I would say to these board members that if they want me to go after someone, they had best be able to provide proof of their allegation and contact me directly instead of sending someone else to do it. I don’t appreciate being used to stir up trouble where there is none. Cause that makes me wonder about the motivation by the person sent my way.
I don’t like political games like this. While a district school board isn’t exactly a big deal in the long run, in a state as small as Delaware and the fact this is coming from the largest district in the state which does wield a significant amount of influence on education, it makes me wonder why I would endorse these two members to have a leadership role on the board when they resort to petty parlor tricks like this. In the end, a district board president or vice-president simply leads the meeting and in some cases sets the agenda. It is a title role that looks pretty on paper and you might get a gavel depending on your district.
Oh, and if you want me to do a hatchet job on someone, do some homework first. This was already brought up in court and the judge ruled that Wilson could serve from this nominating district. Not that it is anyone’s business but Martin Wilson himself, but did any of these busybodies attempt to ask Wilson himself why he went before the court to get a ruling on this to begin with? Not my business to get that information out there because it is not their business. There is a fine line I will not go over with blogging and this is one of those situations. Wilson did his due diligence and that is ALL that matters.
If you are going to serve on a school board, I would stick to what school boards do: oversee a district in the best interests of children. Not this… never this. I might be a lot of things, but I do have integrity and I will not bury someone so someone else gets a little bit of power on a school board. If this destroys a friendship or an association, so be it. If you valued me in any way to begin with you wouldn’t have attempted this stunt so no loss on my part. And an FYI: I smelled the piranha in the kiddie pool immediately. Just be grateful I’m not saying YOUR names.
Effective August 28th, Red Clay Consolidated School District Board of Education President Mike Piccio resigned from the board. Sources within the district have confirmed there is no controversy, just a citizen moving out of the district at some point. But what makes this interesting will be the makeup of the board going forward. The current Vice-President Martin Wilson, in most situations, would just slide into the President role. But knowing Red Clay, I am sure other members will want to vote on changes to the board. Not to mention the whole special election for his seat on the board. Interesting times up in Red Clay…