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Interviews begin to fill vacant Park District School Board seat

Eileen Buckley

Candidates for the Buffalo School Board's Park District seat will begin this afternoon at 4 p.m. This will be the second time in a year and a half interviews have been needed to fill the seat.

The seat became open in May when Catherine Flanagan-Priore abruptly resigned over the district's vote on a school nurses contract. Flanagan-Priore said in her resignation letter that she recognized her "conflict of interest" on the contract, but resigned "in protest" over how the contract was handled, including information withheld.

Kaleida had won the contract for more than a decade and Flanagan-Priore is a Kaleida Health psychologist. She had only served on the board for a year, being appointed to represent the Park District after Carl Paladino was removed by the state Education Department.

Among those who have announced their application this time around are Kevin Lafferty, "a lifelong Park District resident and a product of the Buffalo Public Schools" who applied last year. He currently works as an Area Manager of Financial Services at B&L Wholesale Supply in Buffalo.

Austin Harig, the former student who originally ran against Paladino, also says he is interviewing for the vacant seat.

Arthur Giacalone, a Buffalo attorney, says he has been disqualified from contention because he just missed out on the three-year city residency rule for board members. However, if the seat is not filled by June 16 as planned, Giacalone says he would qualify to apply.

Interviews will be conducted Thursday, as well.

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