On Thursday the 8-member BOE held their budget meeting at Cos Cob School. The meeting presented a second chance for the board to vote on a new chair since the Nov 16 vote resulted in a 4-4 tie vote down party lines between Democrat Christina Downey and Republican Joe Kelly.
Democrat Kathleen Stowe explained that the board has 30 days to break the tie and hoped that a candidate would receive the required 5 out of the 8 votes in order to win.
And, until a new chair wins, the board not vote on the other officers (vice chair and secretary).
The entire process is rings eerily similar to what played out in 2016 when the board held three votes over 30 days that all resulted in a tie.
As a result, the decision was kicked up to the Republican controlled 3-member Board of Selectmen who voted to install Republican Peter Sherr as chair.
The morning after last month’s tie vote, Greenwich First Selectman Fred Camillo, a Republican, said during his WGCH radio show that if the Board of Education failed to elect a new leader his board would take it up and he would support Joe Kelly.
“Personally, I’d rather them settle it themselves. I don’t like Board of Selectmen getting involved in Board of Education issues if we don’t have to, Camillo explained. “That said, if they continue to be deadlocked, we’d take it up and probably break the tie.”
“I’d support the same conclusion my fellow Republicans came to in voting for Joe (Kelly),” Camillo added. “Joe is a terrific guy who is really well known in town. He’s given so much back to this town.”
On Thursday night, Karen Kowalski was traveling by plane. The board waited for her to land before voting. At about 8:30, Ms Kowalski called into the meeting and then voted for Mr. Kelly by email.
Kathleen Stowe said that due to the tie vote she would remain chair.
“There is something important I’d like to say,” Mr. Kelly said. “There is a big football game, Sunday. It’s the semi-finals at Cardinal Stadium at 12:30.”
“You always surprise me,” Ms Stowe said.
Ms Stowe said that the board would re-convene on Dec 15th for the regularly scheduled business meeting.