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Auburn school board can’t even agree on terms to discuss vacancy, as topic gets kicked to December meeting

The Auburn Enlarged City School District Board of Education is at a standstill when it comes to filling a vacancy.

For the second session in a row, the school board and its members could not agree on terms to fill a vacancy left by Joe Sheppard, who unexpectedly resigned in October. The community later learned that Sheppard was taking a position with the school district.

However, that hasn’t made filling the vacancy any easier.

Last week when the Board of Education met, a motion to discuss the vacancy did not receive a second. Board member Matteo Bartolotta made a motion to have a discussion about where the board stands on replacing Sheppard. It was seconded by Salvatore Giangreco.

The Citizen reported that Bartolotta, Giangreco, Jeff Gasper and Danielle Wood voted for discussion after Board President Ian Phillips said there was nothing on the agenda or planned to be discussed. However, due to there not being another person in favor of discussion – the motion died.

Philips told The Citizen that his main reasoning against discussion is adding spontaneous items to the agenda. He also suggested that the district is looking at ways to proceed. “We were and are still in the process of getting legal counsel around the timing and process of the various options and researching the costs and staff resources around the special election process in particular when the agenda was made,” he told them in an email. “There isn’t an option that will make everyone in our school community happy, so the best thing we can do is have a discussion grounded in facts and figures rather than shooting from the hip.”