Special to the Village News
The two experienced board members of the Fallbrook Union High School District retained their officer positions at the organizational meeting on Dec. 12. Eddie Jones was selected by a 4-0 vote to serve another year as board president. Oscar Caralampio, who served as clerk for 2022, was selected to be vice president for 2023.
Newly elected trustees Paul Christensen and Courtney Hilborn were sworn in as new trustees, after being elected by voters in the Nov. 8 election. There is a vacancy on the board with no one running for the Area 2 seat in November and subsequently no one applying for the position appointment.
Attorney Janet Mueller of DWK explained to the board that the term for this situation is "failure to elect" and that the district should continue to seek an applicant. The issue is that the geographic area is on Camp Pendleton. Many residents on the base are not long-term in the area and many retain their voting registration in other states to avoid the higher California taxes.
Superintendent Ilsa Garza-Gonzalez said the district has continued to solicit individuals to apply for the position. The district has used social media, legal advertising and purchased the mailing addresses and email addresses of registered voters in the area – and sent notices. There have also been news stories in the Village News.
Anyone appointed to the position would serve until the 2024 general election when voters would select someone to run for two years instead of the normal four-year cycle.
Mueller also suggested the district seek a waiver for the state Board of Education to allow an appointment. She said having the item on a January meeting agenda here would allow timing for the state board to consider action at its March meeting.
The FUHSD has two meetings next month, Jan. 9 and Jan. 23.
In other business at the Dec 12 meeting, the board approved the first interim financial report for fiscal 2022-2023. Brenda Mefford, chief business officer, explained that the state requires all California school districts to submit two interim reports to their county Office of Education. The first such interim report for fiscal year 2022-23, reflecting the district's financial status as of Oct. 31, 2022 is due to the San Diego County Office of Education by Dec. 16.
This report reflects the status of the district budget after the adoption and revisions of the state budget. Highlights of the report were presented during the meeting. The first interim budget increased to $50.8 million.
Mefford noted that the fund balance in the unrestricted general fund is expected to decrease as a result of increased salaries, benefits and special education costs.
The report is presented with a "positive certification" because the current year, the 2023-2024, and 2024-2025 fiscal years have positive fund balances and include full funding of the 6% reserve for economic uncertainties.