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Federal Way school board reviews process to fill vacancy after Moore resigns
The Federal Way Public Schools (FWPS) board of directors reviewed the process for filling the vacant seat left by Tony Moore, after he resigned on Friday following his felony theft conviction in Oregon.
Jeff Ganson, a lawyer for the district’s legal firm of Porter, Foster and Renick, gave a brief presentation to the board on how the process works through state law and through the board’s own bylaws.
“(Moore’s resignation) triggers in the statute 28a.343 of the RCW’s an obligation for the remainder of the board to attempt to identify a replacement, and appoint an interim replacement for the duration of the year up until the next general election,” Ganson said. “The board, under the statute, has 90 days to do that.”
If the board is unable to find a replacement within the 90 day timeframe, Ganson said the task would fall to the Puget Sound Educational Service District.
The requirements for someone wishing to fill Moore’s seat include being a registered voter of the district and residing within the geographical area of the directorship. Moore held the position of District No. 5 director, which FWPS defines as “starting at the intersection of school district and 342nd St. East on 342nd St. to 35th Ave. SW. North on 35th Ave. SW to 340th St. East on 340th St. to 31st Ave. SW. North on 31st Ave. SW to 32nd Ave. SW. Northeast on 32nd Ave. SW to 337th St. Southeast on 337th St. to 336th St. Northeast on 336th St. to Campus Dr. East on Campus Dr. to 10th Ave. SW. Northeast on 10th Ave. SW to 6th Ave. SW. North on 6th Ave. SW to 320th St. East on 320th St. to 1st Ave. S. North on 1st Ave. S. to 312th St. East on 312th St. to Pacific Hwy. South on Pacific Hwy to 336th St. East on 336th St. to I-5. South on I-5 to school district boundary. West following school district boundary to the point of the beginning.”
The board’s own bylaws “flesh out” the process of selecting an interim director, including an announcement of the vacancy, the procedures to be followed, and also inviting residents to recommend anyone they feel would be a suitable fit for the position.
“Once candidates have identified themselves as being interested in the appointment, the process states the board will screen the candidates,” Ganson said. “If there are more than five (candidates), then the board will select five for interviews,” Ganson noted. “The interviews will be conducted in an open meeting of the board, which is consistent with the Open Public Meetings Act. When we’re making an appointment to elected office, any interviews must happen in an open session. Then finally, the board’s decision must be made in open session, of course.”
Board president Carol Gregory said the board plans on getting the process started next week, with the announcement of the vacant seat through various channels, and the timelines for those interested in filling the position. Gregory also took the time to comment on Moore’s departure.
“Losing a colleague is hard, Tony and I had a very interesting background, in that we were both political candidates at one time in opposing parties, and we had our skirmishes, particularly on the sidewalks of Federal Way, as we held signs and tried to outdo each other,” she said. “I want to thank Tony for the work he did for this district, and also for the unbelievable commitment he has to the education of children, particularly children of color. I’ve not met anyone who carries that to the extent that Tony carried that on this board, and that will be missed and it will be for all of us to pick it up … As I said, this has been a very interesting week.”
To learn more about the vacancy and the process to fill it, visit www.fwps.org.