Newport City Councilors hosted a special workshop evening in order to discuss the process of filling a vacancy on the School Committee resulting from the resignation of Kathleen M. Silva.

Silvia resigned her seat effective Jan. 27th, 2020. Whomever is appointed to fill the vacancy will serve only until a person is elected and qualified at the next municipal election, scheduled to take place on Tuesday, Nov. 3rd.  

According to the City Charter, City Councilors are charged with filling “any vacancy arising from death, resignation or any reason in the membership of the School Committee within thirty (30) days after learning of the vacancy or as soon thereafter as may be possible by a majority vote of all members of the Council; provided, however, the Council shall provide for the public solicitation of applicants.”

The discussion by the council and from some of the current School Committee members that were in the crowd ranged from the timeline to fill the vacancy, what questions candidates would be asked, in what order candidates will be interviewed, holding all interviews and votes in public session, and how the Council will host a straw vote to choose the best candidate.

City Council will officially receive notice of the vacancy at their February 12th Council meeting, at that time they will open up the application period until February 21st. City Council has allotted two weeks for interviews in case there is a large application field. When all interviews have been completed, Council will use a straw poll to select the appointed School Committee member.

All Newport residents interested in applying for the vacancy are encouraged to submit a letter of interest along with any relevant credentials to the Mayor’s Office at Newport City Hall by the 21st of February.

The meeting lasted one hour and ten minutes.

Present for the start of the meeting were Jamie Bova, Justin McLaughlin, Angela McCalla, and Lynn Ceglie. Ceglie excused herself from the meeting at approximately 6:42 pm.