Waterford school board member resigns, replaced by former candidate
Waterford — Longtime Board of Education member Kevin Brunelle resigned his seat at the board's June 23 meeting, and will be replaced by Miriam Furey-Wagner, who ran unsuccessfully for the board last year.
Brunelle, a Democrat, was in the first year of his fourth four-year term on the board.
He had served his previous three terms as a Republican, and had not received the GOP's nomination or planned to run in the 2015 election until he was asked to run as a Democrat, he said.
The other members wanted to maximize the number of members with previous experience on the board during the hiring process and the first year of Superintendent Thomas W. Giard's tenure in Waterford.
Brunelle said his work as a chauffer also kept him away from the board's Thursday evening meetings.
"It was just a question of it getting to be too busy," he said. "I like to think that I was a voice of reason when ... things were getting a little bit helter-skelter."
Town Democrats nominated Furey-Wagner to replace Brunelle. She will serve the rest of his term until the November 2017 municipal elections.
Furey-Wagner, a retired middle school principal, said she is looking forward to starting on the board at its next meeting as an "advocate for children.
"I've sat on the other side and attended countless board meetings in my career," she said. "It'll be kind of nice to be able to give back now that I've retired."
There are nine members on the school board, elected to staggered four-year terms.