Fox, Blau appointed to fill FPS Board of Education vacancies

By: Jonathan Shead | Farmington Press | Published December 22, 2020

 Recently elected candidate Cheryl Blau was chosen Dec. 9 to fill a vacant Board of Education seat left by Pam Green, who announced her resignation Nov. 16.

Recently elected candidate Cheryl Blau was chosen Dec. 9 to fill a vacant Board of Education seat left by Pam Green, who announced her resignation Nov. 16.

 Recently elected candidate Mable Fox was chosen Dec. 9 to fill a vacant Board of Education seat left by Terry Johnson, who announced his resignation Nov. 16.

Recently elected candidate Mable Fox was chosen Dec. 9 to fill a vacant Board of Education seat left by Terry Johnson, who announced his resignation Nov. 16.

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FARMINGTON/HILLS — Newly elected Farmington Public Schools Board of Education candidates Cheryl Blau and Mable Fox will begin their terms as trustees in the district a bit earlier than scheduled.

By 5-0 votes for each, Blau was appointed to fill former Board President Pam Green’s seat until January, at which time she will resign and be sworn in to her elected six-year term, and Fox was appointed to complete the rest of Vice President Terry Johnson’s days in office. Johnson’s term expired at the end of 2020, so Fox will not be legally required to resign.

After Green announced her resignation just two years into her term Nov. 16 and Johnson announced his resignation 45 days before his term expired, the remaining board members were left with 30 days under Michigan law to fill their seats.

Board member Terri Weems explained that choosing two of the elected candidates, rather than opening up an application process, would allow those candidates to more expediently be orientated and acquainted with their new roles, allowing them to hit the ground running come Jan. 5, their swearing-in date.

Newly appointed Board President Zach Rich explained at the board’s special Dec. 9 meeting that the two candidates were chosen over the third newly elected candidate Claudia Heinrich, who was elected to serve a two-year term beginning in 2021, because it made sense to appoint the two that were elected to full six-year terms as opposed to Heinrich, who was elected to serve a partial two-year term.

Board Trustee Jessica Cummings said the candidates weren’t chosen as a way to “show favoritism.”

“I want all three of the newly elected board members to feel welcome. They’re all important to us,” she said. “My hope is that current board and newly elected board members can work together over the next few weeks to transition very smoothly.

“I appreciate the level of engagement that I’ve seen up to this point, and I’m sure I’ll see from here one out,” she added.

Weems acknowledged that all three newly elected candidates expressed willingness to step up and fill the vacant seats or be patient until their term began. “I also want to take a moment to thank Heinrich for her patience and her continued engagement. I’m really looking forward to all board members participating,” she said.

Rich said each candidate’s willingness to step into the position early bodes well for the Board of Education moving forward.

“I think that shows just how good of a spot we’ll be in come the start of the year, when we have everyone up and running,” he said. “I look forward to working with all of you.”

Fox thanked the sitting board members for the opportunity to step up earlier than anticipated, saying all three of the newly elected candidates “plan to do this community well.”

“They’ll be proud of us as we move along with what we have to do. I’m very excited to be part of a great team of folks who are going to move this district forward,” she said.

Come January, when Blau will resign from this appointed term to be sworn into her elected term, the Board of Education will at that time have 30 days to find a full-time replacement for Green’s seat to finish the final years of her term. If the board does not meet that 30-day deadline, the vacancy moves to the Oakland County Intermediate School District to be filled. Applications to become a board member are currently live at farmington.k12.mi.us and must be submitted by 11:59 p.m. Jan. 3.

“For anyone who is interested in joining the board and applying for the position, please do so,” Rich said. “You can find the information on the district homepage. That (vacant seat) will be voted on in the new year.”

For more information, visit farmington.k12.mi.us.

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