School board to appoint ex-member

10:00 a.m. Saturday, Jan. 9, 2016 Local

A former West Carrollton school board member who failed to get her name on the ballot in November is expected to get the seat back and be elected the group’s leader.

District officials said former board Vice President Debbie Bobbitt was the only candidate to express interest in the position whose term expired Dec. 31. The departure came after the Montgomery County Board of Elections ruled last summer Bobbitt’s petitions to be a fall candidate lacked enough valid signatures.

She is set to be appointed Jan. 20, board President Tom Wolf said, “and she will take her spot pretty much just the way it was going to be.”

After Bobbitt is sworn in, the West Carrollton board is also expected to elect her its president, which Wolf said is customary regarding the panel’s vice president from the previous year.

She would replace Wolf, whom the board re-elected last week, when it also chose Roberta Phillips as vice president.

Election to the seat, which pays $125 a month, includes a four-year term. Because of the timing of the appointment, however, the current term will expire at the end of 2017, according to the board of elections.

Bobbitt has served two terms since being elected in 2007 and would have been unopposed for re-election had she collected an additional handful of valid signatures.

Her appointment will give the board an experienced voice.

At the same time, Wolf said the community would be better served from more interest in the job. West Carrollton board vacancies have attracted as many as 10 candidates, said Superintendent Rusty Clifford.

“It just varies depending on what the interest is,” Clifford said.

More common is the type of interest shown in 2014, when then-Vice President Andy Wagner’s resignation attracted three candidates for that spot, Wolf said.

“It’s kind of a mixed point of view for us,” he said of the current vacancy. “Because on one hand, we’re happy to have the situation as such that we’re able to basically keep somebody that’s been with us. But at the same time, you can’t help but kind of hoping to have more interest.

“You kind of think it would be good to have more people interested,” he added. “But again….we’re going to have somebody on there that’s been a part of it for a long time. In that, respect it worked out.”

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