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

Current high school trustees will select replacement

Rick Monroe

Special to the Village News

With three incumbent trustees of the Fallbrook Union High School District deciding not to run again in the Nov. 7 general election, it creates an unusual twist in Trustee Area 2, where no candidates decided to run.

Area 2 covers a large portion of Camp Pendleton and, according to the attorney representing the district, the current five trustees have the responsibility to select an interim trustee for Area 2 before the incumbents leave office in December. The interim position would be for a two-year term, until the November 2024 election. That’s when Oscar Caralampio and Eddie Jones, board president, will be up for election.

Of course, first someone from the southern part of Camp Pendleton needs to apply. There is speculation that many on the base are not registered California voters, as they can chose to keep their home-state registration if it has more favorable taxation. Anyone interested in being considered for the appointment can contact the high school district office to confirm they live in Area 2, 760-723-6332

Trustees Lita Tabish in Area 1, Elana Sterling in Area 2, and Diane Summers in Area 3 have chosen not to run for another term. Each was elected four years ago as at-large members, prior to the district establishing representatives by geographic area. None live in Area 2.

Janet Mueller, shareholder at the San Diego office of Dannis Woliver Kelley Attorneys at Law, explained the post-election procedures at the Sept. 12 FUHSD board meeting.

She called the lack of a candidate a “Failure to Elect” and said that with that type of vacancy, it’s to be filled by board appointment for a term lasting only until next election cycle. She said any applicant must meet eligibility requirements.

The process requirements are for the district to print a public notice (done in this issue) and solicit applicants. The board is to appoint a committee to screen eligibility, and then the board conducts interviews in an open session prior to selecting the trustee.

The interviews, hearing and selection can all be done during a special meeting. She noted that the board should focus on positives in making its selection.

Mueller explained that this type of vacancy does not give the option for a special election.

The open application period will begin later this month, she said, with the other steps and appointment coming in October, provided there is at least one applicant. If there is no one seeking the position, the process will repeat on a new timeline, she said.

The plan would be for the interim person to be seated at the December organization meeting when two other new trustees will take office. Seeking the Area 1 position are Jim Dooley, a retired engineer, and Courtney Hilborn, parent. In Area 3, the candidates are Paul J. Christiansen, captain, fire department; Jennifer Sexton, parent/revenue operations; and Karen CG Weisberger, retired science teacher.


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