Gov. Norm Bangerter plans to test a legislative proposal for screening candidates in finding a replacement for state school board member Richard Maxfield.
After eight years representing parts of Salt Lake County on the nine-member board, Maxfield resigned last week to coordinate programs at Utah's five applied technology centers and to act as a paid liaison between the centers and the state Office of Education.Francine Giani, Bangerter's press secretary, said Monday the governor has asked several business, parent and education groups to nominate candidates for the position by Friday.
The governor will then review the candidates and select a new member if he finds a nominee with good qualifications.
Giani said the method will allow Bangerter to test a plan proposed by the state Education Governance Committee as a way to staff the state board with more qualified, effective members.
That proposal, which will be considered by the Legislature, would subject all state school board candidates to a similar screening whereby the governor would choose two candidates in each geographic district from a list compiled by a local selection committee.
Voters in the districts would then choose between the two candidates.
"His plan is to simply try this out and see how it works," Giani said. "If it doesn't work, the governor always has the option of choosing whoever he wants for the position, and I'm sure people will be letting him know they're interested."
Bates said the person chosen by Bangerter must be approved by the state Senate and, "I'd assume that would happen on the first or second day" of the 45-day legislative session that begins Monday.
Giani said Bangerter hopes to have a new board member chosen by the end of January.