On 2-0 vote, Colwell gets nod for vacant BoE post


With only one item on the agenda, the Fayette County Board of Education Monday afternoon appointed former interim Superintendent Dan Colwell to the Post 2 seat vacated by school board member Mary Kay Bacallao.

The vote on the appointment was 2-0, with board members Marion Key and Bob Todd in favor of the appointment and board member Leonard Presberg abstaining. Board member Barry Marchman was not present at the meeting.

The five member board now consists of three members who have actually faced voters in an election and two who have not — Colwell and Leonard Presberg, who was appointed to an open seat in November 2011 and is now running as a Democrat for the new Post 5 seat.

Contacted at home after the meeting, Colwell said he is honored to have been selected.

“I will do my best to make what is already an outstanding school system even better,” Colwell said.

Todd at the meeting made the motion to appoint Colwell to fill Bacallao’s unexpired term which ends in December 2016. Presberg seconded the motion.

“I have nothing but the utmost respect. (Colwell) will be a fantastic board member,” Presberg said. “His experience and knowledge will be vital to us.”

Presberg in his statements also noted that he would be abstaining from the vote since Colwell in prior months had given him a campaign contribution which had been subsequently returned. Colwell made the contribution for Presberg’s reelection campaign prior to Bacallao’s resignation to run for state school superintendent.

As for Marchman’s absence at the meeting, Key said she had spoken with him a few minutes before the Monday meeting and was told he was in north Atlanta and could not be back in time to attend the meeting.

Key also said she had called Marchman several times last week in reference to the called meeting. Marchman did not return those calls, Key said.

Key thanked the 10 applicants who applied for the seat, adding that the school system is fortunate to have a number of well-educated and talented people who stepped forward to be considered for the Post 2 seat.