City school board loses 2nd member in less than a week

July 28, 2006|By SARA NEUFELD | SARA NEUFELD,SUN REPORTER

Baltimore school board member Michael C. Parker is being transferred to a job in Connecticut, creating the second vacancy on the nine-member board in less than a week.

Parker, the head of Comcast's Baltimore operation, has been promoted to be the company's area vice president for New Haven, Conn., and New York effective Aug. 1. In an e-mail to The Sun yesterday, he confirmed that he is stepping down from the school board, to which he was appointed a year ago.

On Tuesday, board member Douglas R. Kington said he will resign effective Monday to spend more time with family.

The two departures, along with the expiration of the terms of three other board members, could result in turnover in more than half the seats on the board. And the changes come after the departure of schools Chief Executive Officer Bonnie S. Copeland, who left July 1, and many of her top deputies.

The terms of board Chairman Brian D. Morris, Vice Chairwoman Jerrelle Francois and member Diane Bell McKoy expired July 1. They are all continuing to serve until an announcement is made about whether they will be reappointed.

The city school board is jointly appointed by Mayor Martin O'Malley and Gov. Robert L. Ehrlich Jr., rivals in the gubernatorial race. On June 2, O'Malley sent a letter to Ehrlich recommending that Morris, Francois and Bell McKoy all be reappointed. Ehrlich has yet to act on the recommendation.

Henry Fawell, a spokesman for Ehrlich, said he does not expect the appointments to be announced "in the very immediate future."

"The governor wants it done right," he said. "It's not unusual for the governor to give a very thorough and careful review to potential appointees and will act at the appropriate time."

O'Malley spokeswoman Raquel Guillory quipped in response: "We assumed that they were doing it right all along."

The education department will accept applications for the vacancies created by Parker and Kington and forward candidates for consideration to O'Malley. O'Malley will then make his recommendations to Ehrlich.

sara.neufeld@baltsun.com

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