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Jan 9, 2018 11:12 AMPublication: The Southampton Press

UPDATE: Susan G. Schaefer To Replace Tommy John Schiavoni On Sag Harbor School Board

Susan G. Schaefer, the newest member of the Sag Harbor School Board. JON WINKLER
Jan 10, 2018 12:35 PM

UPDATE: WEDNESDAY, 9:14 A.M.

The Sag Harbor School Board voted unanimously on Tuesday night to appoint Susan G. Schaefer as its new board member to replace Tommy John Schiavoni.

After the board interviewed her and six other candidates at a special board meeting, the board went into executive session to discuss who would be nominated for appointment before coming back out to a public session. Board member Susan Lamontagne then nominated Ms. Schaefer to replace Mr. Schiavoni, who was sworn in to the Southampton Town Board this week.

Ms. Schaefer will complete Mr. Schiavoni's term on the board, which expires this May and will require her to run for her position in a public election in May.

Superintendent of Schools Katy Graves said Tuesday night that the search for Mr. Schiavoni's replacement began at the December 18 board meeting. The reason for the short time frame of the appointment, Ms. Graves said, was in order to have Mr. Schiavoni's replacement appointed and trained in time before the board begins its budget process in February. Additionally, Ms. Graves said that Tuesday night was the only time when all the board members and potential candidates were available to meet at the same time.

Ms. Schaefer will be officially sworn in to her position on the board at its next meeting on Monday, January 22.

ORIGINAL STORY

The Sag Harbor Board of Education was expected to appoint a new board member Tuesday night.

The board was expected to publicly interview seven of eight candidates Tuesday night to replace former member Tommy John Schiavoni, who left his seat last month after being elected to the Southampton Town Board.

The Board of Education scheduled a special meeting for 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday night to interview the seven candidates to fill the seat: Caleb Kercheval, Michael Hayes, Yorgos Tsibiridis, Laurie Marsden, Susan G. Schaefer, Tom McErlean, and Susan Kinsella.

An eighth candidate, Gary Bierfriend, was not available to attend Tuesday night's meeting, according to Superintendent Katy Graves. He will submit his resume and a written statement about why he wants the job in writing instead.

During the interview, each candidate will be given three minutes to explain why they want to be part of the seven-member Board of Education and what qualities they would bring.

Ms. Graves noted that the Board of Education prepared seven questions during an executive session on Monday to ask each candidate during the public interview. After those questions are answered, the Board of Education will allow the public to submit additional questions if necessary.

Once the interview is completed, the board members will go into an executive session to decide who will join them at the dais. The new board member will be announced on Tuesday night—though they won't be officially sworn in until the board meets for a business meeting on January 22.

Mr. Schiavoni, a Pierson Middle/High School alumnus, was appointed to the Board of Education in 2014 to fill a position vacated by Daniel Hartnett, who resigned from the board when he moved out of the district.

Mr. Schiavoni resigned from the Board of Education during the December 18 meeting to serve on the Southampton Town Board.

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Rumor has it they already know who they are appointing. The name of this person is on the list included in the eight people above. I will be interested to see if this is a rumor or fact!
By disappointed (90), wainscott on Jan 9, 18 7:43 PM
Yeah, I don't trust those "Executive Sessions". Many times they provide cover for rebuttable assertions. There should be another category of meeting mode where Boards can discuss only amongst themselves without immediate, real time input from the public. Or the executive sessions should be recorded and aired after a suitable cooling off period has passed.
By Funbeer (239), Southampton on Jan 11, 18 3:48 AM
Disappointed, was the appointed person the one you thought?
Funbeer, this board has been doing business behind the public's back for years. Nothing will ever change and good luck trying to change it.
By SHres (18), Sag Harbor on Jan 11, 18 5:17 PM
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