On the first round of nominations, Tim Pybus received six votes with Ed Maguire and Steve Bullis tying for second place with three votes each. (see chart, page 14, for individual votes)
The committee voted by
writing down their top two choices (not revealing each
individual vote to the public; reading only the vote
tally). Since Maguire and Bullis tied for second
place, all three candidates were welcomed to the next
round where they gave a two minute presentation and
answered questions from the board.
Steve Bullis stressed the need for identifying priorities, improving academic achievement and seeking more money for the school budget. Maguire said that he would seek ways to spend money in the budget more effectively, pointing out that the budget problems had more to do with how the money is spent. Tim Pybus expressed the opposite opinion stating that he believed North Andover needed to seek and receive more money for school spending.
Pybus participation on the selection committee for new superintendent, Harry Harutunian and being the former president of the Booster Club seemed to weigh heavily in his favor.
All three candidates were asked by Selectman Rosemary Smedile what they would do given the choice between increasing class size or cutting programs. All three candidates said they would increase class size. In the second round of voting (see Chart #2), Tim Pybus received five votes (Rosemary Smedile, Al Perry, Mark Caggiano, Dan Murphy and Don Stewart), Ed Maguire received three (Wendy Wakeman, Jim Xenakis and Charles Ormsby) and Steve Bullis received one vote from Bruce Baker.
A member of the audience asked for a full accounting of each board members' vote but was ignored by the chairman. With Tim Pybus receiving the majority of votes in the second round, the board then voted on the record to unanimously select him to fill the vacant seat of Darlene Torosian until March of 2005.
Since Darlene Torosian resigned from the School Committee, prospective applicants told the Valley Patriot that they were purposely discouraged from applying when they were told by some board members that the only requirement for the job was a promise not to run against fellow board members next year. Bill Kelly, who applied for the seat confirmed this in his column (page 6) saying he was told of the requirement not to run next year.
We never set that as
a prerequisite, responded Committeeman Al Perry.
I know that Dr. Baker had a concern about that and
other members didnt want to give anyone an
incumbent's advantage next year, but it was never voted
on; it was never anything official. We never set any
requirements. Coincidentally, Bruce Baker is
up for reelection to the School Committee next year.
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