Brett Murner has been selected to be Lois Wulfhoop’s replacement on the Wellington school board.
The decision came after special board sessions Sept. 18 and 19 to interview candidates, another talk behind closed doors at the regular monthly meeting on Sept. 20, and a final private 90 minute discussion Sept. 27.
Murner has practiced from his North Main Street law office since 2007 after starting out in Cleveland in 2001. He has lived in Wellington since 2014 while two of his three children attend Westwood Elementary.
“I’m honored to be chosen by the board among many qualified applicants,” said Murner. “Hopefully, I’ll be able to put forth a great effort in the trust put in me by the board and continue the improvement in the Wellington Schools. I have a deep seeded belief in the Wellington Schools, its ability to get better, and that it’s already pretty great.”
If no decision had been made by the end of September, the Lorain County Probate Court would have been tasked with picking a new school board member.
“This has been a very tough decision for us,” said board president Sally Stewart. “We weighed a lot of different things and had a lot of good conversation. We had so many good candidates and we want them to come back in November. It made it hard on us. Usually a board doesn’t make this decision because the general public does. We went with what we thought was the best fit for the district.”
Two other candidates at the meeting — Bill Watters and William Bogan — received sizeable support from Wellington school faculty and the public at recent meetings.
Watters is president of the WHS running club and an assistant wrestling coach at the high school. Bogan is a former Wellington school board member and teaches at Lorain High School.
“I guess I’m glad they made a decision and didn’t leave it up to the court,” said Watters. “I’m a little surprised but Brett is a good guy. Hopefully, he can take care of business and get some stuff accomplished. I’m not going anywhere. I have young kids in Wellington and will continue to be at every meeting like I have been.”
Bogan was narrowly defeated by Daniel Rosecrans in last year’s board election.
“There’s a lot of people in this community who said I should be on the board,” he said. “They voted for me. I think at some point in time, that should have said something. That should have meant something.”
Board spots belonging to Murner, Stewart, and Ayers Ratliff will be up for election in 2017.
Wulfhoop resigned in mid-August, saying she had been “thinking about downsizing” for years and purchased a new home in Avon.
That decision came just a few months after her husband, Tim Wulfhoop, was terminated from his position as business manager for the Wellington Schools. That action came when state officials learned he did not have the proper license for the job.
Board member Ayers Ratliff accused Lois Wulfhoop of “paving the way” for her husband to be hired. The situation prompted an investigation of the Wellington Schools by the Ohio Ethics Commission, the Ohio Department of Education’s Office of Professional Misconduct, and the Ohio State auditor’s office.
Murner will complete Lois Wulfhoop’s term on the board, which expires Dec. 17, 2017.
Jonathan Delozier can be reached at 440-647-3171 or @DelozierNews on Twitter.
Photos by Jonathan Delozier | Wellington Enterprise Brett Murner was chosen as Lois Wulfhoop’s replacement on the Wellington school board at a meeting Tuesday evening.