Governing board members for the William S. Hart Union High School District have the list of candidates who are seeking to fill Chris Fall’s seat, the Hart district announced in a statement Tuesday.
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The governing board plans to interview all 12 candidates Oct. 16 at its regularly scheduled board meeting, and then plans to select a qualified, approved candidate at the end of the process.
The meeting will take place at 3 p.m.
The 12 applicants are: Linda A. Calvo, Ed.D., Ronda Chobanian, Eileen Connolly, Bruce Fox, Robert Hall, Jim Heffernan, Sharon Hill, Ann E. Kerman, Jinghong Li, Philip Phillipson, Lee Schramling and Lance K. Williams.
The process is expected to be similar to the five-hour interview that selected Fall, with minor adjustments, according to Hart district officials.
The Hart district oversees more than 20,000 junior high and high school students in the Santa Clarita Valley.
During the screening process, Hart district officials plan to screen the candidates with questions about any potential conflict of interest that they might have, which was an issue that Fall resigned to avoid.
The Hart district also is planning to change the balloting process following a suggestion from the District Attorney’s Office.
An investigator with the District Attorney’s Office filed a complaint alleging a Brown Act violation against the Hart district’s governing board for its handling of Fall’s nomination.
The selection process was deemed a “secret ballot” in a letter from the investigator, and Hart district Spokeswoman Gail Pinsker said the board was planning to change its policy as a result.
Governing board members took part in four rounds of voting during Fall’s appointment, but the results of that voting was not reflected in meeting minutes.
“There was a recommendation that the votes tallied from that process be announced after those votes,” Pinsker said.
“We have been advised that we should change one aspect of the voting and we’re taking a look at that right now,” Pinsker said. “And we will implement any recommendations from the District Attorney’s Office regarding that one aspect.”
Fall was appointed to the Hart district to fill the governing board seat vacated by Paul Strickland, who moved to Florida, in May.
Fall stepped down in August to avoid a potential conflict of interest violation, because he worked for a company that had a trash contract up for renewal with the district.
Because of the timing of Fall’s resignation, one week after the election deadline, two things took effect.
Fall already had announced his intention prior to serve a second term, and no candidate ran against the incumbents, so he was automatically given that seat by the county and he had to resign from a second term.
Since he resigned from a second term less than two months before the election and the start of his would-be term, Hart district officials are bound by the state’s Education Code to appoint a board member for Fall’s four-year term.
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Source: Santa Clarita News