An Amarillo City Council member says she is part of a three-member steering committee that will make a recommendation to the Amarillo school district regarding a replacement for a recently resigned board member. And it's anticipated the vacancy will be filled in September.
Council member Freda Powell recently addressed a group of Amarillo residents during a community meeting and shared information regarding efforts to find a successor to James Allen, who officials said submitted his resignation June 15.
"I wanted to make everybody aware that the Amarillo Independent School District is going to be looking to appoint someone fill James Allen's position on the board," she said. "They want to accept applications beginning Aug. 1 and that person should be on the board by Sept. 17. The applications will be received through the Amarillo Independent School District's website."
The school district's board policy manual references if a vacancy occurs on the board, the remaining board members may fill the vacancy by appointment until the next trustee election or may order a special election to fill the vacancy.
If more than one year remains in the term of the position vacated, the vacancy shall be filled not later than the 180th day after the date the vacancy occurs. Allen's term was slated to expire in 2021.
"Those of you who know someone who is interested, I encourage you to spread the word," she said. "We do have a committee that has been formed, of myself, (St. John Baptist Church) Pastor Anthony Harris and David Lovejoy, who will represent the Amarillo Branch NAACP. This committee will be responsible for reviewing those applications that are received and then we will try to come together as a united front to give a recommendation to the school board for their consideration, because we would like to at least have an African-American still be a representative, for not only this community, but minorities in the city of Amarillo."
AISD spokesperson Holly Shelton said the school district is in the process of creating an application packet and noted after reviewing submitted applications, the school district's board will interview candidates in hopes of seating a candidate no later than the September school board meeting.
School district board members accepted Allen's resignation during the body's regular board meeting June 21 and entered into a 41-minute closed session in the midst of the meeting.
The board policy manual also notes all public officers "shall continue to perform the duties of their offices until their successors shall be duly qualified (i.e., sworn in). Until the vacancy created by a board member's resignation is filled by a successor, the board member continues to serve and have the duties and powers of office".
Allen did not attend the June 21 school board meeting and has not responded to phone calls seeking comment regarding his resignation.