No candidates yet for open Gateway seat
Who will fill a Gateway school board seat up for a special election come November remains unknown as no candidates have formally applied to fill it — and the person who currently holds the position doesn’t plan to.
Dawn Neilly, 56, of Monroeville was nominated by the Gateway school board in a 6-2 vote on July 23 to replace Jesse Kalkstein, who resigned in July.
Neilly said she will not run for the seat.
“This way it leaves everything as an even playing field for the Republicans, the Democrats and the Independents. Everybody will be on an even playing field. And may the best person win,” she said. “And I wish them the best of luck.”
Neilly said she wanted the process to be fair.
“I just think it will make everything more fair across the board, and I had no intentions of causing any disruption or making people upset,” she said, referencing the process by which she was appointed.
The board appointed Neilly with no opportunity given to the public to comment before voting her in — an action that has been criticized as possibly leaving the board liable under the Sunshine Act.
Neilly will serve on the board through November. Those who are interested in applying for her seat have time to apply.
Len Young, chairman of the Monroeville Republican Committee, said a candidate will be chosen by the party during a committee meeting on Aug. 27, but interested individuals should apply with a resume by Aug. 20.
During the meeting that starts at 7 p.m. at the Monroeville Municipal Authority building, committee members will allow prospective candidates to speak for eight minutes each. The board will ask interview-style questions at that time, he said.
The Monroeville Democratic Committee will follow the same format during a meeting held at the same time and place on Aug. 26.
After the interview, the board will recess for an executive session, Dave Magill, chairman of the MDC said.
Committee members will vote on a candidate to nominate at those meetings, Magill said.
“We’re looking for a Monroeville or Pitcairn citizen, someone of good moral character,” Magill said, adding those interested should bring copies of resumes with them to the meeting, which will be open to the public.
Young said the Aug. 27 meeting will be open to Monroeville and Pitcairn residents who are registered as Republicans.
Those who are nominated will be placed on the general election’s ballot.
When the board holds its annual reorganization meeting in December, an elected official will be sworn in and serve a two-year term, according to David Voye, Allegheny County Elections Division manager.
Voye said there are no limits on how many third-party candidates can run for the seat. Independents must collect at least 95 signatures in a petition by Sept. 16 to secure a spot on the November ballot.
For additional information, contact the Allegheny County Elections Division at 412-350-4500.
Dillon Carr is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Dillon at 412-871-2325, [email protected] or via Twitter .