Yavapai County School Supt. Tim Carter tapped Gary Marks for a third term on the Humboldt Unified School District governing board. The appointment fills the vacancy left by Scott Paulsen who resigned Dec. 31 for an employment opportunity outside the district.
Three candidates applied for the position: Sandy Griffis, Gary Marks, and Carm Staker.
"Due to the amount of public interest in this appointment, the diversity and quality of the candidates, the complex nature of issues facing the district, and the significant statewide budget concerns facing all educational agencies and taxpayers, this was the most difficult of the 84 appointments that I have made," Carter said in a Friday press release.
Prior to making the appointment, Carter spoke individually with each of the elected members of the governing board and with district administration. He also received comments from more than 60 citizens who voluntarily shared their views of the candidates.
Carter said he appreciated the community involvement as it provided a valuable public perspective of the candidates.
Marks has lived in the district for 12 years and is the executive director of the Prescott Valley Economic Development Foundation. He is serving his second term on the Arizona School Facilities Board. He completed eight years on the HUSD governing board in December, and lost out on a third term in the November election to Mary Bergman and Paulsen.
"Each candidate had their own unique strengths but the eight years of governing board experience that Mr. Marks brings to the board is critical at this point in time," Carter said.
Some in the community are unhappy with Carter's decision. Mary Ann Kroninger, PV resident for six years and working parent of two children in the district, said she wished Carter selected someone other than Marks.
"Marks was clearly voted out by the voters. That statement was made. The superintendent should have taken that into consideration. I think he should have listened. The election wasn't that long ago," she said. "If I had the time during the day, I would have stepped up."
Carter said he received two calls, prior to making his choice, from people saying the same thing.
"And I actually received more calls from folks saying he was the only person who should be considered because he was the only candidate that went through a 'public process,' by taking out petitions, filing financial disclosure forms, getting hundreds of signatures, submitting himself directly to the voters through a campaign for six months, and then received almost 6,000 votes," Carter said.
He said someone else pointed out that if Paulsen had resigned and withdrawn a couple of days earlier, Marks would have filled the second of two vacancies anyway.
"I am sorry if people disagree. There was no way to make everyone happy," Carter said. "As I have stated, this was the most difficult appointment I have made."
He said anyone wanting to share their views with him may call 928-925-6560 or make an appointment to meet in person.
"I did what I thought was best, and stand by the selection," he said. "I absolutely respect and appreciate the views of others that disagree with me."
Carter also reminds district residents that four HUSD seats will open up for election in November 2012. Three will have 4-year terms and one will be a 2-year term.
"I hope people are as engaged and committed in providing service to the district, by running for the open seats, as they are in providing criticism of my selection," he said.