The New Suffolk Board of Education is looking to appoint someone to fill the vacancy left on the board after Jason Cooper died last month.
President Tony Dill said the school board is in the process of compiling a list of interested individuals, who they will then interview for the position. They hope to appoint someone near the start of the upcoming school year.
When faced with an empty seat, the school board has three options: leave the seat vacant until the next election in May, hold a special election to fill the position or appoint someone to serve until next May.
“In looking at those three options we rejected the first one because we’re only a three-person board to begin with,” Mr. Dill said. “Having only two people would be silly. The second one didn’t make sense because, obviously, a special election is costly in terms of dollars, but also you need to have time for petitions to circulate.”
With Mr. Cooper’s unexpired term up for re-election in May, Mr. Dill and vice president Joseph Polashock felt that appointing someone to serve for the next few months made the most sense.
Mr. Cooper — a beloved 16-year member of the Cutchogue Fire Department and a lifelong New Suffolk resident — died June 7 following an accident at his mother’s New Suffolk home. He was 47. He had been elected to the New Suffolk Board of Education in May 2015.