After about five hours of interviews, the Hart district’s governing board voted 3-1 to select Robert Hall on Thursday to fill the seat vacated by Chris Fall.
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“Relief” was the word that best summed up how he felt after being named to the governing board.
“I do this all the time,” said Hall, the director of human resources for Advanced Bionics, of the interview process. “But we don’t do it publicly,” he added, smiling.
Hall, who has two children who have graduated college and a third who’s currently a student at Hart High, was the top choice for board members Robert Jensen and Steve Sturgeon.
Gloria Mercado-Fortine listed Rhonda Chobanian and Ann Kerman as a tie for her top-two choices, and was the lone vote against the appointment of Hall.
Joe Messina listed Chobanian, the director of development for the Santa Clarita Valley Boys & Girls Club, as his top choice, but ultimately voted for Hall.
Fall resigned from the governing board for the William S. Hart Union High School District at the board’s Sept. 25 meeting
The four trustees currently on the board submitted their top choice after the questioning was completed, and Hart district Superintendent Rob Challinor read each trustee’s name and their top choice.
Hall said he hadn’t served on a school board before, but when asked, he said he felt the dynamic between a board and the superintendent should be similar to that of a CEO and a board of directors in a corporation.
He was also asked what he would do if a parent or stakeholder came to him with a complaint about a problem with the district.
“There’s always going to be tough discussions, but it’s the job of the board to set poilcy and procedure,” Hall said. “It’s not the boards job to solve individual problems.”
Fall resigned to avoid a potential conflict of interest violation because a trash contract was up before the district, which involved a company that employs Fall.
Hart district officials said that due to the timing of Fall’s resignation, they’re bound by the state’s Education Code to make a four-year appointment to replace Fall.
As a result, the last question for each candidate involved a follow-up to a questionnaire each of the candidates was given during the application process, asking the candidates whether they still believed they have no conflict of interest if they were chosen to serve the district.
Hall is slated to be sworn in at the Hart district’s annual organizational meeting Dec. 11, along with Messina and Jensen.
The two incumbents did not have any opposition slated for November’s election, when they would have had to run again, so the Los Angeles County Clerk’s Registrar-Recorder’s Office automatically certified them for another term.
Hall was chosen from a list of 11 candidates that included Bruce Fox, Lee Schramling, Sharon Hill, Jinghong Li, Chobanian, Jim Heffernan, Kerman, Eileen Connolly, Philip Phillipson, Linda Calvo and Hall, who were interviewed in that order.
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Source: Santa Clarita News