Gil Jimenezs death leaves Position 2 available to appointee March 14

By a 3-1 vote Monday night, the Forest Grove School Board opened the late Gil Jimenez's Position 2 seat to applicants.

Chairwoman Alisa Hampton, vice-chairman John Hayes and member Fred Marble voted "yes" on a motion to declare the spot vacant. Member Kate Grandusky, who was out of town and participated in the meeting via conference call, voted "no."

"We have three positions up for election this spring," Grandusky said, speaking of those belonging to Jimenez, Hampton (Position 3) and Hayes (Position 1). "I feel that a new person's appointment will not be effective for such a short period of time."

The period Grandusky referred to is approximately three months — April, May and June. The board voted to hold a special meeting March 14 to interview candidates, appoint a person to fill Jimenez's seat through June 30 and swear the appointee in the same day.

Time of that meeting was unknown Tuesday morning.

Jimenez, 72, who had been a member of the board for a year since his appointment in January 2012, died Feb.19 of respiratory failure after a battle with cancer.

March 6 deadline

Applications for Position 2 are due to the district office, 1728 Main St., by next Wednesday, March 6. Selection criteria include being a registered voter living inside the district, having the time to spend on board work, being available to attend meetings, acting as an ambassador for local schools in the community and understanding local, state and federal issues that impact education, according to the district website.

The appointee may choose to file as a candidate for election to Position 2 before March 21 with the Washington County Elections office. The special election will be held May 21. Hampton has decided not to run again for her seat after five years on the board. Hayes has filed as a candidate for his seat.

Marble, who has served 12 years on the board, said he sees the upcoming appointment as a "head start" for someone to fill the immediate vacancy and possibly run for the open seat as well.

"With the amount of work to do before June," including service by board members as part of the district budget committee, Hampton said she favored bringing a fifth person onto the board right away.

Hayes said he was in favor of filling the seat quickly, "otherwise the person wouldn't be in the office long enough to make an impact."

Though the board operated with only three members for several months in late 2011 and early 2012 after former members Terry Howell and Anna Tavera-Weller were recalled by voters, Hayes said he was invested in maintaining a five-member board.

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