More than a year after his term expired, Baltimore City School Board President Phillip H. Farfel has finally stepped down.
Although Farfel's two terms on the board technically ended in December 1994, according to school officials, Mayor Kurt L. Schmoke made no move to replace him, and Farfel continued to serve an extra 16 months.
A spokesman for the mayor said yesterday that there were differences of opinion about the date Farfel's term ended -- the mayor believed it should end in December 1995, because one of Farfel's terms consisted of three years instead of the normal four.
Hoping for a way to reappoint Farfel, the mayor this year asked his legal staff to find out whether it could be done. But city lawyers concluded that Farfel had served the two-term maximum and was not eligible for reappointment.
"The bottom line is, the mayor could hold over Dr. Farfel, but he could not reappoint him," said spokesman Clinton R. Coleman.
Of Farfel's tenure, the mayor said: "He was a fine leader during very difficult times, and I know that he is going to look for ways to be helpful to the students of the Baltimore City public schools into the future."
Farfel's departure was effective Monday.
Arnita Hicks McArthur, vice president of the board, will be interim president until the mayor appoints a replacement. Schmoke may nominate a current board member as president, or appoint someone new, Coleman said. The nominee is subject to City Council approval.
"Usually he selects someone who is a member of the board," Coleman said. Although the mayor has begun to consider candidates, he declined to release names yesterday.
"He really is expecting to make an appointment as soon as possible," Coleman said.
Farfel, a board member since 1986, was named president in 1989. He plans to remain "very active" as a plaintiff in a city lawsuit against the state that seeks more money for Baltimore schools, and he will continue to work as an administrator at the University of Maryland Medical School.
Pub Date: 5/09/96