San Bruno Park considers by-elections | Local News
Following the steps of neighboring jurisdictions, the San Bruno Park School District may soon become the last governing body to pass by-election for trustees after its board of trustees agreed to order the superintendent to return with a resolution indicating his intention. to do so rather than wait for a possible dispute.
“We really shouldn’t wait. We should just go ahead because the east side of the lanes, the east side of El Camino has never been represented on this board, ”administrator Jennifer Blanco said at a board meeting of El Camino. administration on Wednesday 10 November.
In its current configuration, the Trustees of the San Bruno Park School Board are elected at large, meaning that all residents who live within the geographic boundaries of the district have the opportunity to vote for each member. But the practice is often seen as a violation of California’s voting rights law, which stresses the importance of giving minority groups a strong voice in local governance, County Deputy Legal Counsel Tim Fox said during Of the reunion.
With a general system putting the district at risk of a possible lawsuit alleging it violates state law, Fox said the district’s best defense would be to move to a constituency election. According to the model, the district would be divided into five or seven districts with an equal number of residents of voting age, with an emphasis on creating majority minority voting blocs and cluster areas with similar concerns.
“There is no reason not to do this,” Fox said, noting that administrators should establish processes to “ensure the best interests of the entire district are served” while preventing “fighting.” around an equitable distribution of resources to each director. Region.
San Bruno Park would join seven other districts to complete or initiate the process of going to the byelection of directors. After receiving letters threatening legal action, the county supervisory board and a number of towns have also relocated or are working to pass district elections in recent years.
General and indirect electoral systems have advantages and disadvantages, Fox said, but developing districts before facing a trial would give the district the “luxury of time” as it would not be faced with various deadlines in the process. the litigation process. .
“The more you give the audience a chance to understand what’s going on, the better the process, because you have to understand why it makes a difference and why it matters,” Fox said.
Superintendent Jose Espinoza has been ordered by the board to return with a resolution next month indicating the board’s intention to begin the process of moving to the byelection of directors.
In other cases, a censorship of Blanco enacted in June 2020 will remain in place after the board refused to change it to allow the director to serve on the Dia De Los Niños committee until the bodies can consult legal counsel.
Blanco was censored last year in a 3: 1 vote after other members alleged that she routinely violated board policies by creating a negative work environment, preventing her from d ” perform official duties. But in October, the board discussed the possibility of changing Blanco’s censorship to allow him to serve on the Dia De Los Niños committee given his long-standing relationship with sponsors and his work to develop the event.
Blanco insisted that all of her committee assignments be returned and argued that she was unlawfully barred from participating because the initial censorship only barred her from acting as an observer.
Alternatively, administrator Henry Sanchez, who first introduced censorship as a resolution, implored the council not to end the censorship after alleged that Blanco’s behavior had not improved since he was put in place and stating that he would not “back out of a bully”.
Vice President Andriana Shea expressed “mixed feelings” with censorship and criticized Blanco’s as a distraction, especially after Blanco was re-elected despite the censorship in place.
“It seems nobody wants to talk about it and frankly, I’m done talking about it. It’s totally distracting, ”Shea said initially in defense of Blanco.
Ultimately, however, she agreed that the board should not tolerate bullying behavior and shared her discomfort at allowing Blanco to resume all of his roles on the committee, arguing that this action would justify a broader discussion.