LHCSD board sticks with four

By Jay Seidel
La Habra Journal

After a vacancy was created on the La Habra City School District board, the remaining members decided last week to not hold a special election to fill the spot and go with just four members until the elections in November.
The vacancy was created when board president Liz Steves recently moved out of state. LHCSD logo
According to the California Education Code, when a vacancy occurs, that district’s local school board has 60 days to either order an election or make a provisional appointment to fill the vacancy for the remainder of the term.
Further, Section 5093 of the Ed Code also states that: “there shall be no special election or appointment to fill a vacancy on a governing board if the vacancy occurs within four months of the end of the term of that position.”
Ian Harrington of the Orange County Board of Education explained that the local districts are the ones who determine how they should proceed when a vacancy comes up.
“The Trustees agreed that since the election was in November and they are a united Board that they would wait until the election to let the community decide,” said Dr. Susan Belenardo, LHCSD superintendent.
Steves’ term ended this election cycle and her position would be on the November ballot even if she did not move.
According to Board President John Dobson, the board “gets along” and that helped in the decision to continue the remaining months with four members.  “If we didn’t get along, then we would have looked at having an election to fill the spot and make it an odd number again,” he said.
The challenge for Dobson will be to ensure that all of the board members attend the remaining meetings in order to maintain a quorum.
“Trustees are very good about attendance and keeping us informed,” Belenardo said. “So this is not a challenge.”
The vacant position as well as Dobson’s position will be on the November ballot.  Dobson said he will be running for reelection .
The board meets twice a month.

Started in 1995, the La Habra Journal is an independent community news source serving the cities of La Habra and La Habra Heights.