WLS fails to agree on new school board member

WLS fails to agree on new school board member
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - It's been almost two weeks since Patrick Hickey announced his resignation from the Washington Local School Board after learning that he is facing three counts of criminal sexual conduct.

The Board interviewed nine candidates, narrowed it down to three and couldn't decide between the final two during a special meeting Monday night.

The two finalists for the empty seat were Chris Sharp and Irshad Bannister.

"I think we all just had a different notion of what the ideal board member would look like and as a result we could not come to a conclusion, it is certainly not the result I had hoped for," Thomas Ilstrup, WLS Board President said.

Board members Lisa Canales and Mark Hughes voted for Sharp, while Ilstrup, the president, and David Hunter were for Bannister who ran in the November election but lost to Hickey.

As a result of the deadlock, Lucas County Probate Judge Jack Puffenberger will make the decision for the district after 30 days of the resignation of Hickey.

"If people thought that Patrick Hickey was the only problem in this district, this is pretty evidence that the board has also been conflicted and in conflict it is really hard to lead," Joshua Mudse, one of the nine applicants interviewed, said.

Neighbors can send letters of interest to the judge, as it is open to anyone in the district older than 18, not just the interviewed candidates.

Many surrounding the school district agree this delay is frustrating, but believe there is still light at the end of the tunnel.

"We've had such negativity come through on our district, so now it's time to move forward and make this district what it was before and what it can be," Melanie Garcia, another one of the nine candidates, said.

Ilstrup echoes what he has said before, he believes there is still a promising outlook."The good things that are still happening in the classrooms here, they've been happening, they continue to happen and they will happen in the future, I am quite confident of that," Ilstrup said.

30 days from Hickey's resignation is April 19.

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