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Former members Burnett and Kelly finalists for North Hills School Board vacancy

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Friday, Jan. 10, 2014, 2:09 p.m.
 

Two candidates remained in the running for a vacancy on North Hills School Board after interviews this week, board President Ed Wielgus said.

Timothy Burnett and Thomas Kelly, both former school board members, were selected as the final two candidates of the seven that applied to fill Tom Baker's seat, Wielgus said at a board meeting Thursday. The candidates were interviewed Monday.

Baker resigned last month because he was elected in November to a seat on Allegheny County Council.

Burnett served on the school board for 12 years and was the 2013 board president. He did not seek re-election in 2013.

Kelly served eight years on the school board. He lost his bid for re-election during the 2013 primary.

The board is expected to vote on the candidates during a meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 16 in the large-group instruction room at North Hills Middle School, 55 Rochester Road, Ross Township.

The new member is scheduled to be sworn in at a special meeting at 7 p.m. Jan. 22 in the middle school LGI room.

Patricia Coyle, Matthew Edlinger, Jason Pirring, Sharon A. Schrim and Helen “Dee” Spade were the other five applicants.

At the Thursday 9 meeting, school board member Kathy Reid apologized to voters who were frustrated that Spade, who ran for a board seat in the November election and came close to winning, was not one of the final two.

“I want to apologize to constituents who took the time to go out and vote,” Reid said.

Spade lost by 16 votes, according to the Allegheny County Elections Division.

During the public-comment period, West View resident Chris Nolan, 46, said that many parents in the West View PTA were wondering why the board didn't honor the voters' choice when selecting the finalists.

“It's really required by law for the board to make that choice based on the need that the board sees,” Wielgus said.

A candidate will need five votes to be appointed to the vacant seat, regardless of how many school board members attend the meeting, Wielgus said.

If the board cannot select a replacement, the decision will move to the Allegheny County Court of Common Pleas. Kelsey Shea is a staff writer at Trib Total Media. Reach her at kshea@tribweb.com or at 724-772-6353.

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