“Elections are too expensive.” “No one wants to run anyway.” “Appointments ensure we get someone who thinks like us.”
Georgia? Iowa? No, San Carlos.
The San Carlos Elementary School District Board of Trustees recently announced its third trustee in as many years is stepping down (Carol Elliott resigns from San Carlos school board, April 9) and that it needs to fill the vacancy by appointment posthaste.
Kathleen Farley, the other trustee appointed along with Elliott in 2012, conveniently retired just after the 2020 Elections. Michelle Nayfack quietly decided not to run for re-election in 2018, catching the community off guard when she did not file by the deadline. This ostensibly gave three days notice for other candidates to come forth and file.
That leaves trustees Neal Layton and Eirene Chen as the only duly elected board members. Not to negate their herculean efforts during the pandemic, but they will receive far less public scrutiny as incumbents if they choose to run for re-election.
Appointments move the debate of critical issues we face from the public square to backrooms shrouded in the Brown Act and create perceptions of perpetuating a club of insiders.
As a PTA president, I appreciate how families have increasingly sought a seat at the table in the challenges facing our schools. The community deserves a voice in the decision-making process. I urge the board to reverse its decision to fill Elliot’s vacancy by appointment and hold a special election instead.