After Murgio’s resignation, Gov. Scott accepting applications to fill vacant school board seat

Mike Murgio's resignation leaves a vacancy on the school board.

Mike Murgio’s resignation leaves a vacancy on the school board.

Gov. Rick Scott’s office is considering applicants to fill the vacancy created on the Palm Beach County School Board last week  by Mike Murgio’s resignation.

Murgio resigned on Friday, one day after being indicted on federal bribery charges, leaving an opening on the seven-member school board. It is up to Scott to decide whether to fill the position and with whom.

A spokeswoman for Scott’s office said Monday that “there is no timetable” for filling the seat but that “anyone is welcome to apply for this position” through an online application.

School Board Chairman Chuck Shaw called on Friday for Scott to appoint an interim board member, saying that leaving the seat open for several months would mean north-county parents and students would have no direct representation on the board.

But not everyone agrees.

School Board Vice Chairman Frank Barbieri said Monday that he preferred that the position be left open until after voters choose a new board member for the seat in August.

“I think the governor should leave it vacant,” Barbieri said. “We hardly have any meetings in June or July and the elections are coming up.”

Adding a new member unfamiliar with the working of the school district “could be problematic,” he added. “I’d just as soon the governor stay out of it.”

Murgio had planned on running for reelection but his attorney said last week that he would withdraw from the race.

Also calling for Scott to leave the position open: the head of a advocacy group for parents.

“Gov. Scott recently said he wanted Florida voters to decide the GOP president candidate,” said Rita Solnet, president of Parents Across Florida. “I hope he holds true to this principle with regards to a vacant school board seat.”

“We should let voters decide who they want to represent them as school board members,” she added.

Board member Erica Whitfield said she expected that Scott would fill the position at some point. The key, she said, is that he appoint someone who will work well with the rest of the board.

“It’s an opportunity to get a voice in an important position,” she said. “As long as this person comes in willing to work with the existing board, that would be wonderful.”

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  1. […] Board seat: Gov. Rick Scott is accepting applications to replace Mike Murgio on the Palm Beach County School Board. Murgio resigned last week after being indicted on federal bribery charges. Palm Beach Post. […]

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