By Kevin Kelley
If you thought last November’s candidate field for the three Westlake Board of Education seats up for grabs was crowded, think again.
In November, voters had to choose three board members from a field of seven candidates.
In the next week, four current board members will select a new member from among 19 candidates.
A board seat became vacant last week when longtime member Andrea Rocco resigned. Rocco, who also serves as assistant law director/prosecutor for the city of Westlake, resigned after taking a job as special counsel to Cuyahoga County Executive Ed FitzGerald. The county executive has a policy of not allowing his cabinet members to hold elected office.
Rocco, who announced her resignation in January, resigned effective March 6.
Among the individuals who submitted applications are two unsuccessful candidates from the November election – Robert Bodi and Laurie Gettings. Russell Milan applied to succeed Ward 2 Councilman Jim Connole when he announced plans to resign in 2010. Connole later changed his mind.
School board members held interviews with applicants yesterday and today. District officials said the board anticipates selecting the new member at its March 26 regularly scheduled meeting. The new board member will serve the remainder of Rocco’s term, which runs through the end of 2013.
The following individuals applied for the vacant board seat: Karen Alfred, Robert Bodi, Eugene DeAngelis, John Finucane, Laurie Gettings, Charles Giunta, Patrick Hofford, Christopher Holick, Thomas Horwitz, Michael Lamb, Barbara Leszynski, Russell Milan, Nicole Sauer, Rajiv Shah, David Smalley, Therese Squeri, Susan Stephanoff, Deborah Thomas and Melisa Yeoman.