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Vallecitos requests waiver for Trustee Area 1 vacancy

The Vallecitos School District seat for Trustee Area 1 is currently vacant, and the school district board is requesting a waiver of the 60-day deadline to fill that vacant seat.

The board’s 3-0 vote May 14, with Ritsa Chanthabandith in Europe, authorized the submission of a waiver request to the State Board of Education. The waiver, which is expected to be granted, will allow the school district to fill the vacant seat by appointment rather than by an election.

“We’re still looking for one more board member,” said Vallecitos School District superintendent Meliton Sanchez.

Chris Howells, who had been the board member for Trustee Area 1, has moved out of California. Howells submitted his resignation effective February 12. The February 13 Vallecitos School District board meeting included a 3-0 vote to approve the provisional appointment process for the vacancy.

Section 5091 of the California Education Code stipulates that if the vacancy is not filled within 60 days the County Office of Education superintendent shall call an election to be held within 130 days after the election is ordered unless the school district requests a waiver of that deadline. The waiver is intended for situations such as a lack of applicants rather than for a deadlock in which no applicant receives the necessary board majority to be appointed. Calling an election when no residents previously applied could also create the possibility of no candidates filing for that election.

On April 9 Chanthabandith was appointed to fill the vacancy for the Trustee Area 5 seat. Her trip to Europe which included the date of the May board meeting had been planned prior to that appointment.

“We are now looking for a representative to serve Trustee Area 1,” Sanchez said.

Trustee Area 1 is in the north central part of the district and is on both sides of Interstate 15. An applicant must be a registered voter in that trustee area. Applications to fill the vacancy are available in the Vallecitos School District office.

Because the term of the seat is from December 2022 to December 2026, the seat will be subject to election for a two-year term in November 2024 although the appointed incumbent may file for that two-year term if he or she desires.

Author Bio

Joe Naiman, Writer

Joe Naiman has been writing for the Village News since 2001


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