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School superintendent: appointed or elected?

No matter which way the vote goes on March 10, the process of selecting a school superintendent will not end that day.

It will begin.

If the majority votes to change the position from elected to appointed, it will trigger a lengthy process, in which the School Board will define the new superintendent's qualifications, search for eligible candidates and pick the most able.

Recently, Hernando School Board members agreed they would:

Hire an interim superintendent when Superintendent Dan McIntyre's term ends later this year, so they will have time to conduct a thorough search for a permanent superintendent.

Set the qualifications for office, including the level of education and the amount of supervisory experience necessary.

Seek the help of the Florida School Board Association in identifying and screening candidates throughout the United States.

Board members know that's going to take some time.

It will take so long that two board members _ Leland McKeown and Paul Clemons _ may not participate in the hiring decision. Both of their seats are up for grabs this year. Neither Clemons nor McKeown has announced whether he will seek re-election.

If, on March 10, voters reject the plan to appoint the superintendent, there is still a question of who will hold the office after November since McIntyre's term ends this year.

So far no one, including McIntyre, has announced an intention to seek election because the issue of appointed vs. elected has to be settled first.

If the March referendum fails, candidates for the office will begin their campaigns.

And voters will choose in November who will serve in the office.