Brownwood school board members appear prepared to quickly appoint a trustee to the vacant Place 2 seat in order to have all single-member districts represented as they begin searching for a new superintendent.

The hurdle is identifying a qualified and willing individual.

Trustees considered their options on filling the position during Monday night’s monthly meeting. Sandra Garcia resigned the position effective Oct. 31 when she moved out of the district.

Trustees are allowed to leave the position vacant until the next election only if that comes within 180 days, but Garcia’s term doesn’t expire until the November 2008 election, about a week too long. That means the board will be required to either call an election or make an appointment to fill the seat until next November.

During their discussion Monday, trustees expressed their preference for letting the voters make the decision, but the time required to call and hold an election means the search process would be far along, if not completed, by the time an election is completed.

“For that district (Place 2) to be represented, we’re going to have to appoint a board member,” trustee Roderick Jones said.

“I prefer that the public make these kind of decisions, but our hand is kind of forced this time,” trustee John Nickols said.

Trustee Dr. Justin Murphy asked that the appointment of a Place 2 trustee be added to future board meetings as an action item should a qualified and willing individual be identified. Anyone with an interest can contact the superintendent’s office or individual trustees. Murphy said if an appointee is going to be able to make good decisions in the search process, he or she would need to be in office as soon as possible.

Earlier in the meeting, the board had given its nod to a superintendent’s search timetable that begins next Monday with its consultants from the Texas Association of School Boards scheduled to meet with various groups, including the community. The board will receive a report on the findings of those meetings on Nov. 30 and use it to develop criteria for applicants.

Applications are already being received for the position, according to Mayo Neyland, TASB Executive Search Services consultant, even though criteria have not yet been established. The deadline for applications will be Jan. 3, and trustees expect to name a sole finalist by Feb. 15.

Dr. Sue Jones, superintendent, announced in September she will retire next summer.

Candidates for the trustee position must meet a series of requirements, including residence for at least six months within the single-member district. Roughly, the district straddles the Brady Highway, running from Coggin Avenue on the east and Chapel Hill Road on the west. It’s western boundary is the Old Brady Road and Center Avenue west of the railroad tracks. The district stairsteps just south of the Truman Harlow Overpass, bounded by Third Street and Fisk Avenue. It includes the property on the south of Avenue A and Rogan Street, and touches the south side of Coggin Avenue between Avenue B and Avenue D. A segment of the district extends south of Coggin Avenue between 10th Street and Southside Drive, ending at Roselawn one block south of Avenue K.

Persons interested in service on the school board may contact board members, or the superintendent’s office which will forward names to board members.