Marblehead Select Board to intervene in School Committee vacancy

Marblehead Select Board plans to intervene in the School Committee vacancy created when Emily Barron resigned late last month.

The Select Board plans to convene a Wednesday meeting and take up the matter. Members will lay out how the appointment process plays out in accordance with state law and Marblehead Public Schools policy.

The Select Board’s decision to start the vacancy-filling process runs contrary to a split vote among the four School Committee members on Nov. 1. That resulted in the vacancy remaining unfilled.

“The law is prescriptive regarding select boards as to authority and process, requiring select boards to fill such a vacancy by a joint roll call vote of Select Board members and, in this case, the remaining members of the School Committee,” Marblehead Select Board Chair Moses Grader told the Marblehead Current. “The roll call vote of a joint meeting must be scheduled under the law after one week from the time notice is given to the public, so that voters of the town may have the opportunity to state their candidacy.”

School Committee Chair Sarah Fox, who voted against filling the vacancy, said she will seek clarity in the coming days and “try to get a little more information if the School Committtee is being invited to next Wednesday’s meeting.”

“This is a decision the Select Board is moving forward with that was not originated from the School Committee, which is a new precedent,” Fox said. “But that being said, I will work with Moses Grader to kind of facilitate what he needs from us and what all of this means.”

After Wednesday night, tbe School Committee and the Select Board will most likely put out a call to Marblehead residents interested in filling the vacancy. The nine officials would convene a public meeting, during which they would interview candidates and select one all in a single night (depending on the number of candidates) to fill the year-long term until the June election.

Barron filed her resignation with Marblehead Town Clerk Robin Michaud on Thursday Oct. 27, “citing a decision not to implement a solution that would have allowed her to continue her professional work and serve as an elected official under state ethics rules.”

This is a developing news story.

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