Mayor Adams filled the last seat on his administration’s education policy panel late Wednesday — a post that has been vacant since March, when he ousted a member of the body after her homophobic views were exposed by the Daily News.
Kyle Kimball, a vice president of government relations for the utility company ConEd, will take the last seat on the 15-member Panel for Educational Policy effective immediately, Adams said in a statement.
Kimball does not have any professional experience in education, but schools Chancellor David Banks said his personal life makes him a “critical” addition to the panel, which oversees the Education Department and approves its contracts.
“As a parent of a public school student, the husband of a teacher, and a deep history serving our city, Mr. Kimball brings critical insight to the Panel,” Banks said. “I look forward to working with him to uplift our schools in the coming years.”
The appointment of Kimball came ahead of a Wednesday night meeting of the panel, where its members were expected to vote on a funding formula for the city public school system.
Kimball replaces Rev. Kathlyn Barrett-Layne, a Staten Island pastor who was removed from the panel by Adams within hours of being appointed on March 22 after The News reported that she has penned several books expressing extreme anti-LGBTQ views. Among other eyebrow-raising statements, Barrett-Layne placed same-sex relationships in the same category of “sin” as pedophilia in a 2013 book about the “temptations” facing Christian leaders and their followers.
After Barrett-Layne’s ouster, LGBTQ advocates called on Adams to replace her with a member of the gay rights community, arguing it was important for him to do so since he had also caused controversy by appointing three other pastors with histories of anti-gay views to his administration.
Though Kimball is gay, his appointment received a lukewarm response from Allen Roskoff, a longtime gay rights activist in the city who has urged Adams for months to tap a prominent LGBTQ advocate for the education policy panel.
“I know nothing of him,” Roskoff, the founder of the Jim Owles Liberal Democratic Club, said of Kimball. “We have active members of our community who have devoted their lives to working with public school children and LGBTQ youth. It would have been great to see one of them asked to serve.”