The Omaha school board moved to fill its empty seat Wednesday night, despite worries about the wording and timing of the new state law that will make all of its members run for their seats this spring.
The board voted 7-2 at its regular meeting to start a process that would appoint someone to the seat left vacant by Freddie Gray’s resignation last month.
Legislative Bill 125, which became law earlier this month, will shrink the board from its current 12 members to nine. It also calls for an April primary and May election. Under the law, new board members will be seated in June.
Board member Justin Wayne read a sentence from the law that states the term of each board member serving on Feb. 11, the day the bill became law, expires in June.
Wayne asked about the person the board will appoint. That person wasn’t serving on Feb. 11, so when does his or her term end? He asked that the board do nothing until its attorney could give a definitive answer, but his efforts failed.
The board plans to accept applications and conduct background checks and interviews for its empty seat. By state law, the board must fill the vacancy by March 9.
— Jonathon Braden