By PAM SCHIFF
The Cranston School Committee continues to seek people interested in filling the Ward 2 seat vacated by Stephanie Culhane earlier this month.
“Right now, we have three individuals who have shown interest,” said committee Chairman Dan Wall, who represents Ward 6. “We are hoping to get more. I would like to be able to vote on a replacement by our September meeting.”
Culhane, who served on the committee for more than a decade, announced in July that she would step down due to circumstances that required her to move out of Ward 2.
Wall said the situation has no recent precedent, and after learning of Culhane’s departure, committee members began “scouring the charter and our bylaws” to determine how to proceed.
It was determined that because Culhane’s departure comes more than six months after the most recent election, no special election is required. The School Committee is responsible for filling the seat through an appointment.
“We are asking the residents of Ward 2 and all over the city to make recommendations or reach out to us if they are interested in fulfilling the term that is left,” Wall said.
Janice Ruggieri, who represents Ward 5 on the committee and previously served as its chair, said she hopes prospective candidates will bring a “fresh perspective on the district.”
“Preferably [it will be] someone with a horse in the race, children in the district, who is already involved in their children’s schools. I find that to be helpful … Maybe someone who has had an interest even outside their own school,” she said. “Unfortunately, people don’t really understand what our role is. They have to understand and be willing to put in the time, effort and commitment.”
Wall said he and Vincent Turchetta, who represents Ward 4 and serves as the committee’s vice chair, will meet with the interested candidates and review “what is entailed, the time commitment, the personal sacrifices of time, and all the work we do with meetings, contracts, hiring, etc.”
Anyone interested in being considered for the Ward 2 seat is asked to email Wall at firstname.lastname@example.org.