School board to interview 5 candidates this week for 1 open seat 

Enterprise file photo — Melissa Hale-Spencer
In May 2015, Seema Rivera, right, hugs incumbent Christine Hayes on Election Night after it was announced that Hayes came in first and Rivera second in a five-way race for three Guilderland School Board seats. Hayes resigned in August, Rivera is now board president, and five candidates are seeking to appointed to fill Hayes’s seat.

GUILDERLAND — Guilderland’s school board is set to interview — in a public, televised setting — five candidates Wednesday night, Oct. 2, one of whom will later be appointed to replace Christine Hayes.

Seeking the appointment are Kimberly Blasiak, Gregory C. Buck, Rebecca Butterfield, Blanca Gonzalez-Parker, and John E. McKinney.

 Hayes had resigned in August, citing additional work — she’s an attorney for Albany Medical Center — and personal responsibilities. A board member since 2012, Hayes served as board vice president in 2015 and as president from 2016 until this year. Hayes’s three-year term ends on June 30, 2021.

The board has nine members and the posts are unpaid.

Current board president Seema Rivera said that the plan is for the board to interview the candidates and then discuss the interviews in executive session, as allowed by state law.  A candidate will be selected later, but before the next board meeting, on Oct. 15, she said, so that that person can be sworn in.

The meeting will be televised live on Spectrum cable channel 1302 and FiOS channel 33 within the town of Guilderland. It will also be posted on YouTube, where it can be found by searching for GHS Media and then, on the GHS Media page, clicking on “videos.” 

The appointment will last until the new board is seated, after the May election, at the annual reorganizational meeting in July. If the successful candidate wants to remain on the board, he or she would need to file a petition to run in the May 19 school board election when the usual three seats will be open as well.

The top three vote-getters would win three-year terms, and the candidate who comes in fourth in the election would fill out the remaining time in Hayes’s term, until 2021.

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