Sharon City School District sign (copy)

The eight members of Sharon City School Board have been unable to fill the board’s ninth seat, which became vacant in October with the resignation of Frank Connelly.

SHARON – Sharon City School Board on Monday rejected the only resident interested in filling Frank Connelly’s empty seat.

In a vote of 2 to 6, the two assenting votes from Deborah Roberson and Melvin Baker, the motion to replace Connelly with Christopher Ford, a Sharon native, failed.

Ford said he is a lifelong Sharon resident, a Sharon High School graduate and has nieces and nephews attending schools in the district. He is involved with the Sharon Recreation Commission and the Mercer County Democratic party.

“I’m interested in serving on the school board to give back to the community to make our school look better and be safer and in any way I can help better our community,” Ford said. “The role of a school board member is to make sure that our school district is up to par, our students are learning and education comes first before anything else.”

The board has missed a state-mandated 30-day deadline to fill the vacancy after accepting Connelly’s resignation Oct. 17.

Under state law, 10 Sharon residents can petition Mercer County Common Pleas Court, which would then be empowered to choose a replacement.

“We’re still working on filling that spot,” said Brian Faber, board vice president, adding that he is aware that a group of 10 registered voters could petition the court. “Until that happens, we’ll continue to do that.”

The board will again advertise for interested Sharon residents to apply for the open school board seat.

The board plans on interviewing applicants at the next work session at 7 p.m. Dec. 5 and could fill the vacancy at that time.

At the regular October meeting, two interested parties attended the meeting, and spoke about themselves and their qualifications. The board, however, decided to wait and request applications, in order to give interested residents a chance to apply, and to further question applicants.

But there were no applicants and no one for the board to interview at the November work session. The board then called for interested residents to attend the regular board meeting on Monday to be interviewed. Ford was the only interested party.

The application will be on the district’s website and social media page. Applications will be accepted until Dec. 2.

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at mklaric@sharonherald.com

Follow Melissa Klaric on twitter @HeraldKlaric or email her at mklaric@sharonherald.com

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Melissa has been a news reporter for The Herald since 2013, covering breaking news, northern Mercer County, Sharon City schools and education. She is a 1992 graduate of Youngstown State University with a Bachelor of Arts in communications.