By Jason Emerson
Cazenovia attorney Mark Goris Monday night was appointed to fill the current vacancy on the Cazenovia Board of Education. Goris, one of seven applicants for the appointment, is a former BOE member, which is one reason he got the job — because his previous experience precludes time spent learning how the board works.
“Every person [who applied] was extremely well qualified, and we appreciate them all and hope they will consider running for the board next spring,” said BOE President Jan Woodworth during the board’s Oct. 16 regular monthly meeting. “As a group we felt we wanted someone with experience, that it would be best for the shortened year [of the position’s appointment].”
Goris will hold the seat, from which Kathy Hahn resigned last month, until the May 2018 election, when a special election will be held.
Goris was born and raised in Cazenovia, is a graduate of Cazenovia High School, a local attorney and has had three children also graduate from CHS.
Goris received his bachelor’s degree from St. Lawrence University and his juris doctorate from SUNY Buffalo. He has worked as a liability claims adjuster, an insurance defense attorney and in medical malpractice defense. He currently has his own practice, Mark D. Goris, Attorney and Counselor at Law, at 5 Mill St., which focuses on civil litigation.
After Hahn resigned from the BOE in mid-September in order to take a new job in Albany, the board created a three-member committee to collect and entertain names of individuals who could be appointed to fill the seat. Woodworth said the appointment committee was approached by seven individuals interested in being appointed to the board: two former BOE members and five who had never served on the board.
The committee decided to choose between the two experienced individuals, feeling they would already understand how the board works, and they had previously been approved by the community through a public election.
“It seemed to be a good way to fill the seat,” Woodworth said.
During discussion, the other BOE members all voiced their pleasure and agreement that not only were all the applicants for the position “phenomenal candidates,” as member Jennifer Pamalee said, but the fact that seven people volunteered to be considered for the job was impressive in itself.
Goris will now sit on the BOE until a special election is held next May. Whoever wins the special election will fill out the remainder of Hahn’s term, which expires in 2019. At that time, the regular election for the three-year term for that seat will be held.
Jason Emerson is editor of the Cazenovia Republican and Eagle Bulletin newspapers.