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Who will fill Paul Saldaña’s vacated seat? Austin board weighs options

The Austin school board could seat a new trustee by June 12.

At a board operations meeting, trustees considered a draft on the potential process and timeline to appoint a replacement for Trustee Paul Saldaña, who recently announced he would be stepping down.

Saldaña, who represents District 6, the southern portion of the district that includes Akins and Travis high schools, said he is resigning to put his focus back on his family and his consulting job. Saldaña said he spent more time on school board work — which is an unpaid elected position — than on his own work.

On Monday, trustees will discuss options to fill the vacancy, then take action on the method they’ll use for filling the spot. Trustees could still call for a special election, but under a draft timeline, it looks more likely they will appoint someone to the seat.

Like the process used when Trustee Robert Schneider died and the board sought to fill his seat, trustees are expected to seek applications and choose among the candidates. If the board approves moving forward with an appointment to fill the seat, the district could post applications and questionnaires as early as Wednesday. The public would be able to hear from the candidates during candidate forums and public interviews by trustees.

According to the draft schedule for appointment, the board would vote at a mid-June meeting to appoint the preferred candidate.

Austin school board members are elected officials, but work as volunteers, who hire the superintendent, establish policies, levy taxes and approve the budget.

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