UD-3 board prepares to fill two vacancies

MIDDLEBURY — The UD-3 school board is welcoming a new Middlebury member and is seeking to fill another vacancy created by the recent resignation of longtime Shoreham member Bill O’Neill.
Quinn Mecham will serve the balance of the term (through next February) of former UD-3 board member Connie Leach of Middlebury, who recently moved out of town. The ID-4 school board, which represents Middlebury, appointed Mecham to the position, which will then be up for grabs on Town Meeting Day next March. Mecham is an assistant professor of political science at Middlebury College.
Meanwhile, Shoreham school directors are searching for a local to fill their town’s lone seat on the UD-3 board, which oversees Middlebury Union middle and high school. He officially vacated last week by O’Neill, who cited mounting professional and family commitments as the reason behind his decision.
“It is a particularly busy time for me work-wise and family-wise,” O’Neil, a nine-year veteran of the board, said on Thursday of his decision.
“It’s not an easy time to be on the board right now, and I didn’t want to be a no-show.”
O’Neill works for Montpelier-based Windham Group, through which he counsels businesses on setting up work stations in a manner that minimizes the physical toll on employees.
“It puts me on the road a lot,” O’Neill said. “I’m all over the state.”
O’Neill’s term spans until March of 2012. That means Shoreham school directors will need to pick someone to serve until Town Meeting Day next March, at which point candidate(s) can run for the remaining year on the term. Shoreham residents interested in filling the balance of the O’Neill term should contact their local school at 897-7181.
UD-3 board Chairman Leonard Barrett said O’Neill was a hard working member of the board and will be missed.
O’Neill said he enjoyed his nine years as a UD-3 director, working on behalf of the citizens of Shoreham. He praised the board for dealing with the many weighty issues in a civil manner. He added he never lost sight of the financial responsibility of deciding how to use taxpayer money.
Though he has stepped down from the UD-3 board, O’Neill will continue to serve his community as a first-responder and member of the local zoning board.
Reporter John Flowers is at [email protected].

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