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Edgewood ISD board fills a vacancy with a sideways move

January 23, 2019

Edgewood Independent School District’s state-appointed board of managers appointed one its own members Tuesday to fill the vacant position of an elected trustee, a seat that was opened by the resignation of trustee Edward Romero.

Timothy Payne, who had been appointed by Texas Education Commissioner Mike Morath, was picked to serve through the remainder of a term that ends in 2020.

It was an unusual move but Edgewood has been in an unusual situation. Morath appointed a five-member board of managers in 2016 to replace an elected board that had been paralyzed for months by infighting. Candidates, including Romero, still ran for elected spots that November, without knowing if they would ever take office.

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Morath has announced he intends to complete a transition back to an elected board by May 2020, and last year allowed Romero and another elected trustee to take their seats, bringing its voting members to seven. But Romero resigned months later, in October.

Morath has not provided a timetable for naming other elected trustees to the board. Stella Camacho, an appointed manager, was elected last November but has not moved from manager to trustee. Others who have been elected are still waiting to take their seats.

Board president Roy Soto said Tuesday’s decision — which left the board with four managers and two trustees — was made without consulting Morath. It’s the board’s responsibility, Soto said Wednesday.

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“Is it allowed? Certainly, because anyone can be appointed. That’s at the discretion of the board,” Soto said.

Soto, who is a Morath appointee, said Payne was a logical fit.

“He understands our vision and our mission,” Soto said. “He is far superior a selection than anyone we could choose in the community because he’s already so far ahead.”

Morath appointed Payne to the board in 2017, to replace one of his original five appointees, Amanda Gonzalez.

Krista Torralva covers several school districts and public universities in the San Antonio and Bexar County area. Read her on our free site, mySA.com, and on our subscriber site, ExpressNews.com. | Krista.Torralva@express-news.net | Twitter: @KMTorralva

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