Special to the Village News
Fallbrook voters in Area 1 of the Fallbrook Union High School district will be able to vote in the next several months for a vacancy on the school board.
Courtney Hilborn won election last November and was seated in December, but resigned in January after moving out of the district. The board made a provisional appointment of Jim Dooley at its Feb. 13 board meeting, but conservative parents were not pleased, contending the female applicant they endorsed would better represent the district. They noted that Hilborn and Paul Christian comprised a conservative slate that was broken with the appointment of Dooley.
Paul Gothold, County Superintendent of Schools, notified petitioners Lindsay Jones and Judy Willis on April 13 that they had submitted sufficient signatures to discharge Dooley’s appointment and have voters in Area 1 participate in a special election. A map of the area boundaries can be found at https://www.fuhsd.net/district/resources-board-of-trustees.
The board currently has three men serving: President Eddie Jones, Vice President Oscar Caralampio, and Paul Christensen. The board also has a vacancy in Area 2 since the November election when the area election policy was established. The area covers the southern portion of Camp Pendleton; no one ran for the seat in November, and no one has sought an appointment to it.
The San Diego County Office of Education and the Registrar of Voters will work together to order the special election in accordance with state Education Code, a spokesperson said.
A date has not yet been set and the timing of the election is determined by law. The exact date of the special election will depend on a variety of factors, including the date of the next regularly scheduled election.
“If the petition is determined to be legally sufficient by the county superintendent of schools, the provisional appointment is terminated, and the county superintendent of schools shall order a special election to be conducted not less than 88, nor more than 125, days following the order of the election,” the code states. However, it also states that the election could be extended to 180 days after the issuance of the order if that election could be consolidated with a regularly scheduled election.
Once the election date is determined, the filing period and other details for candidates will be set. Only residents living in Area 1 are eligible to be on the ballot.
Asked if he intended to seek election, Dooley said, “Too early to say. I won't decide before the filing date.”
Dooley, who is retired, placed second in the November election to Hilborn. He received 46% of the votes in the two-person race.
The ROV has estimated that the election could cost FUHSD between $100,000 and $225,000.