Los Banos Talk
On March 11, 2021 The LBUSD Board of Trustees voted unanimously to proceed with appointing a replacement to the district 1 seat for the remainder of the term, which is set to expire November 2022. The seat became available after former Board Trustee Anahi Rodriguez resigned in February 2021 due to no longer residing in the district. Los Banos Talk previously wrote an article on this topic which can be read here.
The cost for the district to hold a special election is estimated to cost about $30,000. The soonest an election could be held was estimated to be by June of 2021 according to comments made by Trustee Anthony Parreira at the meeting. Whoever would hypothetically win this election would have to run again in November of 2022, essentially meaning that they would have to run campaign two years in a row, which is costly and time consuming.
Board Trustee Anthony Parreira was the first to speak on the topic and cited the new conflict of interest policy which states that the board should do what is prudent and in the best interest of the district, at which point Trustee Parreira cited the recent budget presentation given moments before, and that the district would be going into deficit spending. He argued that he felt the most prudent thing to do was to hold an appointment instead of spend money on a special election. Board President Ray Martinez said he concurred with Trustee Parreira's sentiments. Trustee Marlene Smith expressed that she too felt the need for fiscal responsibility and felt that asking a candidate to run back to back years was a lot to ask of a candidate. Trustee Jessica Moran also stated that she felt an appointment would be best. Trustee Marg Benton Said, "I think we need to be fiscally responsible". Trustee Gary Munoz was absent.
Trustee Parreira made a motion to proceed with an appointment, which was seconded by Trustee Benton. A roll call vote was held and the motion passed unanimously 5-0 in favor. Appointments are not unusual for the board, as many recent officials have gained their seat on the board via appointment in recent history.
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