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PLACENTIA : Board Won’t Fill Its Temporary Opening

The school board has decided not to fill a temporary opening on its panel, reasoning that the position will be eliminated in five months anyway.

The board, which considered and rejected two candidates for the seat, voted 4 to 2 not to appoint anyone to it. The seat is one of two created when the Yorba Linda Unified School District was merged with the Placentia Unified School District in 1988.

Under the terms of the merger, the board was to have seven trustees until July 1, when it will revert to five. Trustee Quentin Goodman will lose his temporary position at that time.

The position was vacated when temporary trustee Karin Freeman was elected to a permanent position in November.

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The board interviewed two candidates for nearly an hour Tuesday evening, but neither could muster a majority in the votes taken later that night.

Freeman and Goodman favored filling the seat, saying that having a six-member board could undermine its ability to make decisions because some votes could be split evenly. Freeman said that the two candidates were willing and well-qualified to serve on the board, even if for only five months.

“It may come back to haunt us where we don’t have the ability to speak as a board,” Goodman said. “I think it’s the wrong thing to do. I cannot support it out of principle.”

But Trustee Barbara Williams, although she had praise for the two candidates, said that with tough budget decisions ahead in the next few months, it would not make sense to train a new member.

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“Would it really be fair to ask an individual to jump in, wrestle with these questions, then, at the end of June, jump off?” Williams asked. “This is a very difficult time with lots of responsibility. It’s a tremendous amount to ask with the five months that are coming up.”


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