The Amherst School Committee voted unanimously this evening to fill the seat left vacant by Steve Rivkin, although Superintendent Maria Geryk seemed skeptical that it is indeed necessary.
Once the Amherst Select Board is formally notified of this positive vote they will have time to discuss it at their January 26 meeting, issue a public call for candidates, and choose a winner at a joint meeting with the School Committee on February 6.
The new member will serve until the next election, April 4. The next few months are particularly important as the School Committees (all Amherst SC members are also members of the four town Regional School Committee along with Pelham, Leverett and Shutesbury) takes up discussion of the FY13 budget.
The Regional High School budget currently faces a $500,000 shortfall and the three other towns are already griping about their expensive assessments. Just today a highly contentious $1.4 million Library Override in Shutesbury was decided by a single disputed vote ruled valid, thus increasing taxes all the more.
According to the regional agreement, three out of the four towns must vote in favor of their assessment or else it's back to the drawing board.