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Decision No. 13,255

Appeal of TINA MANCE from action of the Board of Education of the Pulaski Central School District regarding the filing of a nominating petition.

Decision No. 13,255

(September 14, 1994)

Grossman, Kinney, Dwyer, Reitz & Harrigan, P.C., attorneys for respondent, Marc H. Reitz, Esq., of counsel

SOBOL, Commissioner.--Petitioner challenges the rejection of her nominating petition by the Board of Education of the Pulaski Central School District ("respondent"). The appeal must be dismissed.

On January 11, 1994, respondent adopted a resolution which established procedures for its annual meeting and election to be held on May 25, 1994. These procedures included a provision requiring the filing of nominating petitions for board members on or before April 22, 1994. Notice of this deadline was included in a notice of annual meeting published by respondent.

On April 25, 1994, petitioner attempted to file a petition nominating herself to run for a position on the board. This petition was rejected as untimely because it was not filed on or before the April 22 deadline. This appeal ensued.

Petitioner contends that respondent improperly imposed a time limit for submitting a nominating petition and that her petition was submitted in accordance with Education Law '2018(a). That section provides in pertinent part:

Each petition shall be filed in the office of the clerk of the district between the hours of nine a.m. and five p.m., not later than the thirtieth day preceding the school meeting or election at which the candidates nominated are to be elected.

Petitioner contends that she properly filed her petition on April 25, 30 days before the election scheduled for May 25, 1994.

By letter dated August 9, 1994, I have been notified that petitioner was elected as a write-in candidate to the vacant board position which is the subject of this appeal. It is well established that the Commissioner of Education will decide only matters in actual controversy and will not render a decision upon a controversy which subsequent events have laid to rest (Appeal of Clune, 33 Ed Dept Rep 665; Appeal of Rondot, 27 id. 143; Matter of Dobert, 24 id. 36). In view of the fact that petitioner was elected to the position of the board which is the subject of this appeal, the matter is academic and must be dismissed.