Shandaken man tapped for OCS Board

By Jay Braman Jr.
Dan Spencer, one of four candidates seeking a spot on the Onteora School Board, was chosen by the board at a meeting last week. Spencer lives in the Shandaken hamlet of Mount Tremper. With his appointment there are now three of seven trustees hailing from Shandaken.
One seat on the seven-member board was made vacant last month with the resignation of trustee and Olive resident Ralph Legnini. The remaining board members immediately decided to hold public interviews with anyone interested in filling the vacancy until the next school board election on May 19.
At the well-attended meeting, Spencer was joined by West Shokan resident William Melvin, Oliverea Resident Tom Hickey and Shokan resident Rita Vanacore. All four were asked questions before the board deliberated and ultimately chose Spencer, though not with a unanimous vote.
After the meeting Spencer said it was not clear to him what exactly it was that convinced the majority of the board to vote for him.
“Perhaps I was the most neutral of the four (candidates)” he said, adding that he is not involved with any special interest groups that have a stake in school issues.
At the meeting, board President Maxanne Resnick told the audience that the format for the interview was to ask questions of the candidates in alphabetical order.
The voting was conducted in similar fashion. Spencer was top vote getter with support from trustees Resnick, Laurie Osmond, Anne McGillicuddy, Donna Flayhan and Michelle Friedel.
Runner up was Hickey, who received four votes from Resnick, Osmond, McGilllicuddy and Flayhan. Vanacore received one vote from trustee Richard Wolfe. Melvin, a student at Onteora, received five no votes and one abstention, from Flayhan, who said that rules prevented a student from being a voting member of the school board.
Spencer, who submitted his statement of interest one day after the February 16 deadline, is a project manager at AMETEK Rotron. Spencer wrote that his position gives him skills that would benefit the board. He also considers himself “neutral on the issues currently driving what I see as a split in both the board and the community they serve.”
Spencer will take his seat at the next regularly scheduled session slated for March 17, 6 p.m. at the middle school/high school in Boiceville.