Mount Sinai’s school board is a member short following a surprise resignation.
Three-year member of the Mount Sinai School District board of education Michael Riggio vacated his seat before the start of the new school year saying he had a sudden “golden opportunity” to work in Florida.
“I did not want to leave the Mount Sinai board of education, but It was a very good career opportunity that took my family and I down to Florida,” Riggio said.
Riggio, a 12-year resident of Mount Sinai, ran for his second term unopposed and had just been reelected to another three-year term on the board in May. The retired officer from the New York City Police Department’s counterterrorism unit served as vice president on the board during the 2017-18 school year and was a big proponent of the district’s eventual move to hire armed security guards in the district.
Riggio communicated to the district July 27 he would be resigning from his position effective August 5, according to district clerk Maureen Poerio.
While he said he didn’t wish to disappoint the school, the opportunity came suddenly. The job is in the law enforcement field, but he declined to reveal exact specifics about the job.
“It’s not fair to the board or the community for me to fly in once a month for a meeting,” Riggio said. “I might not be able to make it if work is too crazy, so I couldn’t take the spot.”
The school board will consider persons for appointment to the vacated seat, and the district is seeking letters of interest for anyone in the community who wishes to apply. The board will decide on the candidate at its Sept. 26 board meeting, and that person will serve until May 2019 when they will run for election for the right to finish out the rest of the term vacated by Riggio.
Candidates need only to be a qualified voter of the district, a resident of the district for at least one year and may not be a current employee of the district. Mount Sinai is looking for candidates to show their prior community service or volunteer work in the district as well as their ability to attend one to three meetings a month and be available at all times to communicate.
The board currently has six members, one short of its usual seven filled seats.
Interested candidates can send letters addressed to Mount Sinai Board of Education c/o Maureen Poerio, District Clerk, 118 North Country Road Mount Sinai, New York 11766, or emailed to [email protected] Submissions will be accepted through Sept. 14 at 3 p.m.
This post has been amended to reflect actual date of next board meeting.