Licking County News

Southwest Licking board appoints Williams to serve rest of year


The Southwest Licking school board on Aug. 8 appointed former board member Brad Williams to replace Cindy Zaino, whose resignation was accepted July 25.

The board voted 3-0, with Roger Zeune absent, to appoint Williams to serve the rest of Zaino's term, which expires this year.

He will not be eligible to run for the seat in November.

When Zaino resigned, board members decided to wait to appoint a replacement until the Licking County Board of Elections could tell them how many candidates would run for the three board seats up for election this November. The deadline to file petitions to run was Aug. 7.

If only one candidate in addition to incumbents Zeune and Don Huber -- both of whom are running for another term -- had filed to run in November, board members said they would appoint that third candidate to replace Zaino.

However, three other candidates -- Daniel Bell, Andy Leachman and John Vincent -- also are seeking to have their names on the Nov. 5 ballot.

"I think we need to take a different tack and choose another person who isn't running for the school board," board President Dave Engel said.

Engel said he didn't want to choose one of the candidates and have it appear as though the board were playing favorites.

"We could just pick somebody or we could advertise," Huber said.

But, Huber said, the term would only be for the rest of the year and whoever responds to an advertisement would not be able to run for a board position in November because the Aug. 7 petition deadline has passed.

Huber suggested appointing a former board member or community member who could "give five good months" of leadership and support to the board.

Engel said the candidate needed to understand how the board works, particularly with a 6.04-mill, 37-year bond request for $66.525 million to construct, renovate and improve school facilities on the Nov. 5 ballot.

He suggested appointing either Williams or former board member Scott Hayes.

"To me, they would be the two logical community members," Engel said.

Board members agreed that of the two former members, Williams served the most recently, which placed him in a slightly better position.

They voted for Williams without knowing if he would accept because he was not in attendance Aug. 8.

However, Southwest Licking representatives confirmed Aug. 9 that Williams accepted the position and will serve through the rest of the year.