It’s a time of major change with the Orland School District 135 Board, as four new members were elected April 9 and board president John Carmody suddenly announced his resignation April 25, citing his move outside the district.

Unfortunately, a couple of members who lost re-election bids last month turned out to be sore losers and, along with a third, tried to pull a fast one by calling a special meeting to quickly replace Carmody. Fortunately, they failed because three members, two of whom lost in the election, skipped the meeting, resulting in a lack of a quorum.

The four new members were sworn in Monday night, and we hope they usher in a new era of civility and cooperation in moving the district forward — ending a rancorous period in which two board factions seemed to spend more time playing politics and scheming against each other.

The divisions within the board resulted in a revolving door of superintendents and other top administrators and a nasty fight with teachers over a new contract in 2011. The teachers union, angered by what it saw as the board’s lack of good faith in negotiations, supported the four candidates who were elected.

Outgoing member Lynne Donegan this week described the old board as “dysfunctional” and said she had been “bullied and threatened” by some members during her four years on it. Not a pretty picture, and one further tarnished by the misguided attempt to rush a vote on Carmody’s replacement to prevent the newly elected members from having input.

It’s an old and slick political tactic that’s never defensible, though board member Tom Cunningham tried to justify it by saying, “When you have a vacancy, you fill it.” True enough, but you need a deliberative process of soliciting applicants and conducting interviews — not try to ram through some political ally.

Cunningham was unhappy that the special meeting wasn’t held, criticizing those who didn’t attend as “disrespectful to taxpayers and the children.” Just the opposite. That describes well the effort to prevent the new board from filling the seat.