After weeks of legal delays, the Youngstown City Schools new Academic Distress Commission met for the first time and took immediate action to begin a national search for a district C.E.O. 

The first 20 minutes of the meeting were covered basic details of how the commission would operate. The commission also appointed a vice-chairman and secretary. But, with only 60 days to appoint a district C.E.O., the commission wasted no time entering executive session to discuss how to go about selecting the district's new leader.

Waiting outside the closed doors were some current school board members hoping for some insight into the future of how the district will run.

"I don't think the board has to be pushed out of the process but if they choose to be obstructionist, as certain board members do, that's a possibility," said School Board Member Dario Hunter.

"That's why I'm here, I want to know what my role is going to be and what their (Academic Distress Commission) role is going to be," said School Board Member Michael Murphy.

The Academic Distress Commission remained in Executive Session for about an hour and twenty minutes. Eventually, some school board members had to leave the meeting to attend their own school board meeting down the street.

Once the commission returned to the open meeting they discussed with the public options to hire a search firm or engage the services of the Mahoning County Educational Service Center -- which has experience finding senior level staff for area schools.

"I like the idea of education oriented. Definitely, I think that is something we really need to be looking for," said one member of the public.

"I don't think it would be wise to go outside of Youngstown at this point," said another member of the public.

The commission then made a motion and voted in support of engaging Mahoning County E.S.C.

"I think we are still open minded about where the individual might come from but I think the group as a whole recognizes familiarity with education is important. Senior executive level experience is important. Proven leadership is important - all those things are important," said Chairman of the Academic Distress Commission Brian Benyo.

The commission hopes to be in the process of interviewing C.E.O candidates by mid-May. The chairman says there will be opportunity for public input.

Meanwhile, at the Youngstown school board was meeting. Board Member Dario Hunter introduced a resolution to tie board member pay to results. Meaning, board members would not be paid unless the district received at least an overall C-grade.

"We've had so many F's on a state report card so something has to give. A number of members of the community have come to me and said why are all these board members receiving all of these checks for special meetings when the board is not producing results," said Hunter.

Currently board members are paid $125 per meeting. The proposed resolution could only take effect for future terms. The resolution was tabled while the legal aspects are examined.