Questions still surround State Board vacancies

(UPDATED, 3:05 p.m., with comment from Otter’s office on timetable.)

Is Gov. Butch Otter getting closer to making appointments to fill two State Board of Education vacancies?

Perhaps.

“The governor will make a decision within the next two weeks,” Otter spokesman Jon Hanian told Idaho Education News Wednesday. “We plan to announce both positions at the same time.”

Otter interviewed five applicants Tuesday, according to Betsy Russell of the Spokane Spokesman-Review. One applicant was Tommy Ahlquist of Gardner Co., developers of the 8th and Main high-rise in Downtown Boise, and Boise’s City Center Plaza downtown project. Coincidentally, a groundbreaking ceremony on the City Center project was held Tuesday.

Otter also told Russell that he has interviewed former state Rep. Wendy Jaquet, D-Ketchum, for a board vacancy.

Jaquet was among 24 applicants to succeed Ken Edmunds, who left the State Board in November to become Otter’s Labor Department director.

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Since then, another spot has opened on the State Board. In April, 11-year board member Milford Terrell announced he was stepping down, effective June 30.

The timetable for filling the vacancy — and now vacancies — has proven to be fluid. In November, Hanian said the governor tries to fill these positions as quickly as possible. In March, before Terrell announced his retirement, Hanian said Edmunds’ board spot could be filled by mid-April. In late May, Hanian said he didn’t know exactly when Otter would make his call.

I’ve asked Otter spokesman Jon Hanian for a list of applicants for Terrell’s State Board spot and a list of candidates interviewed. Come back for updates.