Board grows to 7

    One elected and one appointed member of the North Adams school board were issued their oaths of office Tuesday evening as the board began a new calendar year with a new look.
    Incumbent Tim Ehlerding and newcomer Al Converset were sworn into office as the board's first order of business for 2013. Mark Bulmahn, who was elected in November to a seat on the board, was absent and will be sworn in next week.
    With the addition of Converset and the pending swearing-in of Bulmahn, the ranks of the board will swell to seven for the first time in the history of the school district.
    The board's expansion is part of a state-approved method of seating board members. After some 40 years of filling board seats by the appointment method, voters in November for the first time went to the polls to begin a staggered system whereby all board seats eventually will be filled via election.
    Bulmahn won an immediate seat on the board by virtue of his first-place finish in balloting for two District 2 (rural) seats on the board. Converset finished second in District 1 (city) balloting, and will begin his own term on July 1, 2014. On Tuesday evening he was officially selected by sitting board members to fill the unexpired term of board president Ehlerding, who won a new four-year term by virtue of his first-place finish in the District 1 balloting.
    New board officers for the coming year were also selected Tuesday, including Michelle Stimpson as president, Ben Faurote as vice president and Debra Bergman as secretary. Stacey Bussel is the other member of the board.
    The board also voted to retain Larry Carty as treasurer, Kathy Brown as deputy treasurer and Scott Ainsworth as the board attorney. Meetings will continue to be held at 7:30 p.m. on the second Tuesday of each month. Board member salaries were set at $2,000 annually.