With Vinny Palermo’s election to the City Council, the Omaha Public Schools will have another seat to fill.

Palermo’s victory in District 4 Tuesday night means he will have to resign his seat on the OPS board. Wednesday, Palermo said he was working on his resignation letter.

“I will still be a part of OPS,” he said. “I’m a parent in OPS, and just because I’m not on the school board doesn’t mean I won’t be paying attention and won’t be involved.”

After running unopposed, Palermo was elected to the OPS board in November and sworn in in January. He and several other new board members were immediately thrown into the middle of a superintendent search that ultimately ended without a hire.

“The most important job you have as a school board member is hiring a superintendent, and even though that process didn’t go 100 percent to plan, it was still really exciting to be a part of that,” Palermo said.

But serving on City Council had always been a dream, Palermo said. When District 4 council member Garry Gernandt announced he would not run for re-election, Palermo said he couldn’t pass up the opportunity to throw his name in the hat.

“The timing wasn’t the greatest, but it was openly known that the City Council seat was my dream job,” he said.

Once it accepts Palermo’s resignation, the OPS board will advertise the open seat and accept applications from people interested in replacing Palermo. The board will then interview applicants and choose one, following the same process that was used when Shavonna Holman was selected to fill a vacant board seat in February.

The timeline for that process has not been hammered out yet, OPS spokeswoman Monique Farmer said Wednesday. Applicants have to live in Subdistrict 9, which includes parts of South Omaha and downtown.

Palermo said he hopes the seat attracts quality candidates.

“Today I began actively recruiting some very, very high-qualified people for that seat,” he said. “I’m going to have to be honest with them — it’s a lot of work for a volunteer position.”

OPS board members are not paid, despite putting in hours of service on the board. As a City Council member, Palermo will be paid $37,378 per year.

erin.duffy@owh.com, 402-444-1210

Reporter - Education

Erin is an enterprise reporter for the World-Herald. Previously, Erin covered education. Follow her on Twitter @eduff88. Phone: 402-444-1210.

Commenting is limited to Omaha World-Herald subscribers. To sign up, click here.

If you're already a subscriber and need to activate your access or log in, click here.

Recommended for you

Load comments

You must be a full digital subscriber to read this article You must be a digital subscriber to view this article.