Buffalo Board of Education scheduled the interviews to fill the East District seat for Thursday at 5 PM at a special meeting. Former School Board Member Vivian Evans stepped down amid a whirlwind of controversy regarding her whereabouts after she left town for a job in Maryland last July. She finally resigned last month after the Buffalo News disclosed the records of her district issued cell phone.
Although the position is an elected one, district officials criticized for their secrecy soliciting the resumes from prospective candidates, refusing to disclose the names to the public. James Kane, chief of staff for Superintendent James Williams criticized for withholding the names from the public while insisting the district didn't conduct the interviews in public in the past. The Buffalo News published a ruling that cited the decision of a Supreme Court judge in 1994 that stated the deliberations had to be done in public.
School Board Member at-large Florence Johnson is on vacation during this period, complicating the interviews though she is participating remotely through " Skype, a video connection over the Internet,"according to the Buffalo News School Zone Blog. Also a problem is the faction on the School Board aligned with the superintendent allegedly attempting to control the process to select a candidate favorable to them. The group has been criticized as well for staying in touch with former School Board Member Vivian Evans, but failing to share any information with the other members not aligned with the superintendent.
Meanwhile, the children in the East District continue without representation while this political drama that started last May after the district School Board elections unfolds.