BRADENTON -- Manatee County School Board members and Manatee County School District officials say they don't know when a board member will be named to replace Mary Cantrell, who died in July.
With less than two weeks until the first day of school, it seems unlikely the board will be back up to full membership for the start of the 2015-16 school year.
"It is highly ineffective to continue much longer with just four board members," Superintendent Diana Greene said.
More than 20 community members filled out an online application to be considered for the job. The appointment will come from Gov. Rick Scott, now on vacation in France, but the search is being led by Florida Commissioner of Education Pam Stewart.
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There's no deadline as to when a board member must be appointed.
"Commissioner Stewart is still leading the search, but no decision has been made," Claudia Claussen, public information coordinator for the Florida Department of Education, wrote in an email.
There's no tiebreaker now when the board votes on controversial issues with only four members. In two board meetings with only four members, a tie has hap
"You don't get a majority with an even number," board member Karen Carpenter said, adding she has heard some names but didn't have any sway with the governor as to who would be appointed.
"I think we'll all find out at the same time," board member Bob Gause said.
Greene said she hoped to have a board member in place by the end of August.
The appointed member is expected to serve until 2016, when voters would elect a candidate to fill out the final two years of the original four-year term. The seat is up for another four-year term in 2018.
The District 5 seat covers Lakewood Ranch and the east part of the county, south of State Road 64. The governor's appointee does not necessarily have to live in the district, but candidates running for election must live within the district.
Meghin Delaney, education reporter, can be reached at 941-745-7081. Follow her on Twitter @MeghinDelaney.