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Frontier to release name of new board member this week

Frontier Central School Board members have selected a new board member – but they don’t plan to release the name until later this week.

The board will appoint the new member at next week’s board workshop meeting, and that person will serve until the May election to fill the seat held by Lynn M. Szalkowski. She resigned Sept. 5.

Fifteen district residents sent letters saying they were interested in serving on the board. A committee of three board members went through the letters and résumés in private, and came up with four finalists.

The School Board interviewed two finalists before last Tuesday’s regular meeting and two more after the meeting. All the interviews took place behind closed doors.

“The interviews went well,” board President Patrick Boyle said. “We talked about it for an hour-and-a-half in executive session.”

“We had four really good candidates. There were pros on all of them,” Boyle said, adding the finalists were very different.

Boyle has said the board wanted to keep the names secret to make sure the selection process was fair, to maintain the dignity of the candidates and to prevent the board from being influenced by special interest groups.

Robert J. Freeman, the executive director of the state’s Committee on Open Government, said a 1994 court decision, found there was no basis to go into executive session to discuss or fill a vacancy in an elective office.

Three seats will be up for the May election. The top two vote-getters will serve full five-year terms while the person coming in third will complete the one year remaining in Szalkowski’s term. The third-place candidate will be sworn in immediately after the election.