It's been seven -- count 'em, seven -- weeks since Vivian O. Evans showed up to a Buffalo Board of Education meeting to represent her constituents in the East District.
Will she show up to tonight's meeting? Well, only Evans and her travel agent know for sure at this point.
If she misses the meeting, it seems likely that her inter-state saga could soon be drawing to a close.
Since Evans announced in August that she'd taken a job in Maryland but planned to retain her seat on the Buffalo Board of Ed, her attendance at board meetings and other district functions has been spotty, at best. While it seems that Evans is not inclined to resign her position, it's possible that the decision over her seat could be taken out of her hands.
If any board member misses three consecutive meetings -- without being officially "excused" by fellow board members -- then the board declares that seat vacant, according to board policy.
When Evans missed the board meeting on Oct. 13, Mary Ruth Kapsiak and Florence Johnson were the only people on the nine-member board who voted to officially excuse her absence. Strike One.
When Evans missed the next board meeting on Oct. 27, Johnson, Christopher Jacobs and Jason McCarthy voted to excuse her absence -- again, lacking a majority. Strike Two.
One more strike and ... well, you know the rest.
Of course, if Evans shows up tonight, the attendance clock is reset for her. Theoretically, she could show up to every third board meeting -- every six to eight weeks or so -- and retain her seat indefinitely.
There doesn't seem to be any deadline in the board's bylaws as to how long that could drag on.
And how long would her constituents tolerate it? That remains to be seen.
- Mary Pasciak