With the verbal resignation of Jamestown Public School District Board of Education member Barbara M. Piazza on Friday, the remaining Board of Education members want to fill the seat as soon as possible.
Mrs. Piazza, 42, of Jamestown, was charged Friday with third-degree grand larceny after a month-long investigation by the Jamestown Police Department revealed she allegedly took more than $19,000 in cash between 2007 and 2011 while employed with Jamestown Area Medical Associates. Mrs. Piazza began serving on the Jamestown Public School board in July 2010 and was in her first three-year term.
"As you all know, we've had a Board of Education member resign," said Christine Schnars, board president, at Tuesday night's regularly scheduled board meeting.
The JPS Board of Education met Tuesday night, and discussed the fate of an empty seat, left open by Barbara Piazza’s resignation late last week.
P-J photo by Liz Skoczylas
Upon the approval of Mrs. Piazza's resignation, Mrs. Schnars provided options to the board regarding the empty seat.
With a member of the Board of Education leaving before their term is completed, the board has the option to leave the seat open until the next term's elections. On the other hand, the board may choose someone to fill the empty seat until June 30, at which point regular elections would be held for any empty seats.
Paul Abbott and Joe DiMaio each addressed the board regarding the seat, with both saying they believe the empty seat should be filled as soon as possible.
"I don't anticipate the upcoming budget process being any easier," Abbott said, adding that he would prefer an odd number of board members to prevent any potential future split votes among the remaining eight board members.
There are two seats that will be open in 2012 as the terms of current Board of Education members expire. However, with Mrs. Piazza's resignation, there will be a third seat open to election.
Because the two seats that will be open are of current board members, those two seats will be for three-year terms. The third open seat will be elected for a one-year term.
Anyone interested in filling the empty seat for the remainder of this term should contact any member of the Board of Education. Interested persons would be able to run in the upcoming elections as well if they wish to continue serving on the board. For more information regarding running for the open seat, contact the Jamestown Public Schools district clerk at 483-4420, or email BOE@jamestown.wnyric.org.
In other business, the board approved an emergency capital project at Bush Elementary School, where boilers that had been installed in 1994 failed and needed to be replaced immediately.
Recently, several segments began leaking water. Upon checking the situation, the installer of the boilers deemed that the boiler was failing due to excessive rust accumulation. The parts are no longer available for these boilers, and the district became concerned that the remaining segments would also fail.
A new boiler was purchased from R.P. Fedder and installed by Chautauqua Mechanical. The remaining segments failed as the new boiler was put into place.
"Carl Pillittieri (director of buildings, grounds and transportation for Jamestown Public Schools) really stepped up in this circumstance," said Daniel Kathman, Jamestown Public Schools superintendent. "I think we dodged a big bullet on this one."
The $75,000 project was paid for with money left over from the capital project that was approved by district voters in 2005.