So. Berkshire school panel can’t agree on choice of new chairman

ALFORD — The Southern Berkshire School Committee failed to elect a new chairperson Thursday when none of the three nominees received a majority vote.

The election comes after former chairperson Ken Knox vacated the position earlier this month after moving out of the district. Whoever the committee elects in his place will serve as chair until the committee formally reorganizes in November.

In the final roll call count, committee member Jane Burke received four votes, Vice Chairperson Dennis Sears received two votes and member Art Batacchi received two votes.

Without the five votes needed to elect a chairman, the election was suspended until the next meeting. Committee member Marcy Bush was absent.

After the first roll call vote ended without a decision, committee member David Travis encouraged the members who didn’t vote for Burke to reconsider.

“I generally have a bias toward action,” he said. “I think that Jane brings a leadership role and a long career in education, her experience running a nonprofit, all these things seem to be from her successes in those spheres, and that she is well-suited in that she is uniquely qualified perhaps in this group to serve this role.”

After three votes, however, members stood firm in their positions. Southern Berkshire Regional School District Superintendent Beth Regulbuto called the deadlock when it was clear the committee was unable to elect a new chairperson.

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