Watertown City School District Board President Michael Flick has decided not to run for re-election, leaving the board with a big hole to fill.
In his time on the board and particularly as chairman, Mr. Flick has set an example of what all north country school board members should be: accessible to the public and press, knowledgeable of the issues and able to speak with clarity on the direction of the board and school district.
He kept a steady hand on the wheel last year when anti-growth board members were quickly embracing junk data that wrongly suggested the district was about to be overwhelmed with hundreds of new students.
But voters will have an easy choice next Tuesday in replacing Mr. Flick.
Of the three candidates running for the seat, Beth A. Linderman has the experience, demeanor and community knowledge needed for the job. As a clinical social worker, she understands the family issues that are the most vexing for school districts.
Her efforts to manage leadership change will be invaluable as the board of education will be faced with replacing Superintendent Terry Fralick, who is nearing the end of his educational career.
Her service to the community is expansive: She is secretary of the Watertown Family Y board, she serves on the board of directors of the Watertown Noon Rotary Club, and she has served on the boards of the Family Counseling Service of Northern New York and Cornell Cooperative Extension.
We are pleased to see other candidates running who are building resumes that will one day rival Ms. Lindermans. We hope they will continue to find ways to serve. But for now, voters would be wise to ensure that the outgoing Mr. Flick is replaced by Ms. Linderman, who is prepared to be an effective board member from day one.