Southside board makes call on open seat

Parents and students gathered on the playground early on.

Southside School District trustees voted unanimously in favor of appointing a candidate to a vacant spot on their board and seeking a special election if no one came forward, according to a district administrator.
The single community member in attendance during the March 7 special meeting, where trustees made this decision, was a certificated member who asked if candidates would be interviewed in public, said Superintendent Eric Johnson. The superintendent said they would be, Johnson told the Free Lance.
Trustees accepted the resignation of their board president, Scott Gilbert, during their regularly scheduled board meeting held last week. Gilbert, who was not present at the meeting, told the Free Lance he had moved outside the district boundaries, which would disqualify him from serving as a trustee. 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.
Since Gilbert had been the board president, trustees voted during the special meeting this week to determine who would take each role. Trustee Veronica Martinez became president, Trustee Marlene Villegas was made vice president and Trustee Nikki Bell became the special representative, Johnson said.
The public will be notified of the vacant spot in five ways, including through the newspaper, the district’s website, the school’s bulletin board, and a letter that went home to every parent in the district, he said.
At the next regularly scheduled board meeting, held at 6 p.m. April 6, the candidates will be interviewed in public, Johnson said. Qualified candidates must live within the district’s boundaries.
Anyone interested in the position must submit a letter that states their qualifications and the reasons they wish to serve on the board to the superintendent by 4 p.m. April 1. Johnson will interview the candidates before the next board meeting, he said.
For more information, call the superintendent: (831) 637-4439.

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