Southside president moves from district, steps down

Parents and students gathered on the playground early on.

Southside School District Board President Scott Gilbert will resign at a board meeting this week, according to the agenda.
“I don’t live in the district any longer,” Gilbert told the Free Lance on Tuesday. “Pretty simple.”
The change comes about three months after Trustee Susana Frasher stepped down. Frasher resigned from her position during the Dec. 2 board meeting, starting a 60-day process in which the remaining board trustees had to decide how they wanted to fill the seat. But minutes from board meetings in January and February showed no votes where trustees decided how to fill the position or whether to accept the single candidate, Jeanne Liem, who came forward.
Superintendent Eric Johnson conducted a swearing in of Liem at the Feb. 3 board meeting, according to minutes.
“In consulting with our legal representation he indicated a vote will eliminate any possible straying from the norm,” Gilbert wrote by text message to the Free Lance on Feb. 22 regarding the Liem appointment. That vote was scheduled as an agenda item for the next meeting, he wrote.
Krystal Lomanto, the county superintendent of schools, could not be reached immediately for comment. Johnson did not immediately return requests for the contact information of the district’s legal counsel.
According to state education code, if a resignation occurs, the school district has 60 days from when it shares this news with the county superintendent of schools to call a special election or make a provisional appointment.
Open session for the meeting this week includes a provisional appointment to the board and the acceptance of Gilbert’s resignation. Gilbert’s position was scheduled to go up for re-election in 2018, according to information on the San Benito County Office of Education’s website.
The meeting is set for 6 p.m. Wednesday in the science lab of the school, 4991 Southside Road in Hollister.

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