When the Distressed Unit Appeals Board (DUAB) first assigned an emergency manager to take over the Gary Community School Corporation (GCSC) last year, how to fill a vacancy on the GCSC School Board was not previously determined. Now, there is a Board vacancy to fill and the DUAB has determined that the emergency manager should fill that position. State Senator Eddie Melton (D-Gary) and the Gary legislative delegation are concerned that appointing a Board member will infringe on citizens’ right to vote. As such, they sent a request to Attorney General (AG) Curtis Hill to provide an advisory opinion on whether or not the emergency manager is authorized to fill a vacancy on the GCSC School Board.

Sen. Melton had the following comments on the delegation’s request:

“After learning that the emergency manager has been advised by the DUAB to fill a vacancy on the GCSC School Board, I became concerned that this would disenfranchise the voters in the City of Gary.

“Although the current Board has been limited of its powers and authority, they are still elected representatives of the residents.

“We are seeking the opinion of the AG to ensure that the vacant Board seat is filled fairly and appropriately.

“We support the emergency manager’s effort to turn the academic and financial status of the district around, however, we want to ensure that the voice and votes of the community are respected.”