Also serving the communities of De Luz, Rainbow, Camp Pendleton, Pala and Pauma

School districts have races with no challengers

Candidates qualify for Nov. 8 ballot in numerous special districts

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

There is a local school district race with no candidates for the Nov. 8 general election. That’s the case in Area 2 of the Fallbrook Union High School District. Incumbent Diane Summers decided not to seek another term – as did incumbents Lita Tabish and Elana Sterling – and even with the filing period extended an extra five days, no one filed papers with the county Registrar of Voters by the Aug. 17 deadline.

A political organizer explained the dearth of candidates in Area 2 is because most of the geographic area includes Camp Pendleton. Many military families tend to keep their out-of-state voting option, so they would not be eligible to run.

In Area 1 of the FUHSD, Jim Dooley, a retired engineer, and Courtney Hilborn are seeking the post. Area 3 challengers are Paul Christiansen, captain, fire department; Jennifer Sexton, parent; and Karen Weisberger, retired science teacher.

“We are looking at board policies and county rules to see what the next steps are, and what the timeframe to act is, but I think they would want a person from that area,” said Eddie Jones, president of the board and in the middle of a four-year term. “Students that come from base are an important part of our school, and it would be great to have a representative from that area, but we will see.”

The high school board meets next on Monday, Aug. 22.

“I don't have much to say on why the members decided not to run again,” Jones said. “I have massive respect for the three members who will be completing their term soon. Right out of the gate, their term started with finding a new superintendent after the early retirement of the one they had. This was quickly followed by the long list of challenges from COVID-19, including dealing with the early days of the pandemic that resulted in the closure of all schools in the state. This was probably the most challenging time a school board has faced, and I hope the community will join me in thanking the three for their service over these years.”

Another local school board has a seat without anyone running. The Vallecitos School District had no one taking out papers, even with the deadline extended five days, for the short-term position in Area 1. There are three other incumbents on the ballot and each is unopposed: Martin Kurland in Area 3, Michael Darnley in Area 4, and Melissa Cox in Area 5.

The three incumbents in the Fallbrook Union Elementary School District are each facing challengers. In Area 1, incumbent Caron Lieber, teacher, and Diane Sebalj, grandparent/retired bookkeeper, are on the ballot. In Area 4, incumbent Susan Jackson Liebes is challenged by Krystal Lee, administrative assistant, and Stacey McRae, teacher. In Area 5, appointed incumbent JoAnn Lopez is opposed by Mary McBride, barber/cosmetologist.

Looking at the Bonsall Unified School District, two of the three incumbents up for election are running again. In Area A, incumbent Lou Riddle has not taken out papers and the only person on the ballot is Pascal Lapoirie, parent/engineer. In Area B, incumbent Michael Gaddis has opposition in Richard Bruck, attorney at law. In Area D, incumbent Roger Merchat, engineer, is challenged by Beth Klopfenstein, emergency room nurse, and Mark Jones, civil servant.

Norma Miyamoto of Fallbrook is seeking re-election to the Palomar College Board of Trustees representing Area 5. She is being challenged by Jacqueline Kaiser, mother/financial consultant.

Incumbent County Supervisor Jim Desmond is being challenged by Tiffany Boyd-Hodgson, scientist/water director.

Also on the Nov. 8 ballot are local special districts including fire, health care, water, community planning, etc.

For the Fallbrook Community Planning Group there are seven seats up for election with 15 qualified candidates. Qualified for the ballot are incumbents Steve Brown, Eileen Delaney, Jeniene Domercq and Mark Mervich. Also qualified are challengers Krystal Lee, Peter Wilson, Lisa Lynn Geffeney, Kelly Hansen, Keri Ann Hoyer, Michele McCaffery, J.J. Neese, Tauna Rodarte, Scott Spencer, Victoria Stover, and Debbie Williams. This race is decided by voters at-large.

The Rainbow Community Planning Group, also elected at-large, has seven candidates seeing five positions. The qualified list includes incumbents Douglas Gastelum, Martin Kurland and Frederick Rasp, as well as appointed incumbents Lynne Malinowski and Michele Sheehan. Also running are Erin Maturo and Guy Maturo.

All but the planning groups are elected by areas within the respective district, divided by geographic zones. This will be the first election cycle with incumbents who were previously selected at-large but are now selected by the smaller zones or areas.

Each of the three seats on the Fallbrook Regional Health District board will have an incumbent (one appointed) facing a single challenger. In Zone 1, incumbent Jennifer Jeffries is challenged by Sydney Lay. In Zone 3, appointed incumbent William Leach faces Margie Mosavi. In Zone 5, director Howard Salmon is opposed by Terry Brown.

In the Fallbrook Public Utility District, incumbents Kenneth Endter in Division 2 and Charley Wolk in Division 5 are unopposed.

There are no contested races for three seats on the North County Fire District board: Appointed director Ross Pike in Division 1, Chris Shaw in Division 2, and incumbent Kenneth Munson in Division 2.

In the Rainbow Municipal Water District there are two races: In Division 3, appointed director Miguel Gasca is challenged by Greg Irvine. In Division 4, appointed incumbent Bill Stewart is opposed on the ballot by Patricia Townsend-Smith.

Incumbents William Pankey, Thomas Veysey, and Christian Zaleschuk are each unopposed in Divisions 1, 3, and 4, respectively, of the San Luis Rey Municipal Water District.


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