In a special meeting that only lasted just one minute and 52 seconds, Jerry Gibbs was sworn in as an interim board member in the Peninsula School District.
Gibbs was appointed with a 3-1 vote at a special meeting of the school board Tuesday night and was sworn in on Thursday night.
“I look forward to working with them, and I hope I can contribute in a constructive manner,” Gibbs said by phone Wednesday.
Gibbs will be on the board during a pivotal time. While he’ll only serve until November — about six meetings — he’ll be involved in the budget process as well as the lead up to a crucial maintenance and operations levy.
“He’ll be in it for the process when we figure out how we should use the (levy) money,” board president Matt Wilkinson said.
Gibbs said he hopes to “put (his) fingerprint on the levy.” He said his role on the board during that process is to help bridge a gap between the district and many voters.
He wants to show what voters will support so the levy can pass. Because, in his opinion, it needs to pass.
“Properly maintained facilities help learning outcomes,” he said after being sworn in.
He’s no stranger to the school levy process. Gibbs is best known for spearheading advocacy groups that campaign for responsible government spending. Over the last two levy and bond campaigns by the school board, he has led Citizens for Responsible Spending.
Gibbs previously applied for a school board appointment in 2012. Currently, he is heading up Let Voters Decide, a group that petitioned for a referendum on the November ballot regarding the proposed Pierce County General Services Building.
In the Tuesday night interview process, Wilkinson said Gibbs’ responses to a set of questions helped set him apart as the ideal applicant for the job.
“He was very candid in his answers ... and that sort of candor is a good thing,” he said.
PenMet Parks commissioner Todd Iverson was also nominated for the seat.
The District 4 seat was vacated by Harlan Gallinger in June after he registered to vote in another county.
Due to the upcoming election, Gibbs will only serve until a new board member is elected. Leslie Harbaugh, Garth Jackson and Zachary Smith are candidates for the seat. Jackson was in attendance on Thursday night.
The three candidates applied for the interim appointment, but the school board did not choose them as finalists. The board chose to only interview the two non-candidates in order to “not be perceived as influencing the election,” Wilkinson said via email last week.
Gibbs’ first meeting on the job is Aug. 13 at the district office, 14015 62nd Ave. NW, Gig Harbor.