The city’s school board hosted its regular meeting a day earlier to allow three board of education members running for a city council seat to attend a candidate forum, said council president William McKoy on Tuesday evening.
The board’s meeting was scheduled for Wednesday evening, but was rescheduled to Tuesday evening.
On Wednesday night, the Eastside Neighborhood Association is hosting a 3rd Ward candidate forum at 7 p.m. at Alexander Hamilton Heritage community center. Three school board members – Lilisa Mimms, Kenneth Simmons, and Flavio Rivera – are challenging the incumbent, McKoy.
“I had a conflict for the evening,” said school board president Christopher Irving. He said the rescheduling had nothing to do with the forum on East 34th Street. Several school board members reportedly mentioned scheduling conflicts to the superintendent and the school board president, said McKoy.
“The only conflict Wednesday is the debate at the Heritage,” said McKoy. “You don’t change a scheduled meeting that’s been annualized because you have a personal conflict, that’s why you have a vice president.”
When asked why couldn’t the board’s vice president run the meeting rather than rescheduling, Irving said the board has previously rescheduled meetings when board members had scheduling conflicts.
“We can’t use the board for the benefit of adults. It has to benefit children,” said McKoy. He said the rescheduling “disenfranchised” parents who attend meetings. “You move the meeting to tonight [Tuesday] and they’re going to show up tomorrow when the meeting was last night.”
Irving struck back.
“It sounds like he just doesn’t want to debate and address different candidates he’s running against. If that’s the case that’s disappointing,” said the school board president.
McKoy said the municipal council doesn’t reschedule a Tuesday meeting to Thursday night because three members have a scheduling conflict or the council president is unable to attend.