Farmington Public Schools trustees during a special meeting Tuesday appointed Farmington Hills resident Richard Mukamal to fill a board seat they’d originally offered to Dr. Shaun Black.
In a surprising move, Black on Wednesday turned down the appointment, citing family commitments and time. During his interview last week, he indicated that he would have the time to fulfill his duties as trustee.
Mukamal picked up the majority of votes in the first round of voting. The January 3 process went several rounds, as trustees started with their top two picks and whittled the field of nine candidates down to two.
On Thursday, trustee Terry Johnson offered a motion to change the process, for the sake of efficiency.
“Based upon where we left everything at the last meeting, we had two very strong candidates,” he said.
Trustee Jessica Cummings said her ballot last week would have been very different, because Black had been one of her first-round choices.
“I just want to make sure this process is fair to all eight applicants that have put themselves forward and have put a lot of time and effort into this process,” she said.
Johnson’s motion passed 4-2, with trustees Zach Rich, Pam Green, and Angie Smith also supporting. In the first round, Smith, Green, Rich, and Johnson supported Mukamal. Two candidates from the previous round got votes; Jenn Garland, from Weems, and Brian Spitsbergen, from Cummings.
According to a district press release, Mukamal is CEO and Managing Partner of RR Health LLC, which produces high quality lip care and skin care products. He has a Bachelor of Social Sciences from Western University in London, Ontario. In 2013, he co-founded a non profit organization named Crescendo Detroit dedicated to transforming the lives of disadvantaged youth through intense music and dance training.
Mukamal and his wife, Linda, a teacher at Hillside Elementary School, have been district residents for 24 years. Their two grown daughters graduated from North Farmington High School. Assuming all goes well, he will be sworn on Tuesday, January 15, at the Lewis Schulman Administration Building, 32500 Shiawassee, Farmington.
The 6 p.m. Board of Education meeting will be broadcast live on TV-10 and available for viewing after the meeting at tv10.viebit.com.