FUSD to hold elections for vacant board member
In response to a wave from the community, the Fresno Unified School Board changed hands on Wednesday, saying it would hold an election to fill the seat left vacant by the death earlier this summer of longtime administrator Carol Mills .
Mills served for 17 years as a trustee representing the community of Fresno High, winning her re-election in 2020. She died in July after battling ALS.
Earlier this month, directors voted to fill the vacant seat by nomination. The directors planned to review the nominees and vote on a final selection. But screams from the public prompted the board to change course on Wednesday.
“We are listening, and it is important the feeling of being able to elect a representative,” said trustee Claudia Cazares.
The exact course of the electoral process remained uncertain on Wednesday.
Administrators said the law requires the Fresno County Superintendent of Schools to call an election after a seat has been vacant for 60 days. The superintendent can initiate the process after this time has elapsed.
The council could call a special election at a future meeting, or the council could let the clock run under the 60-day rule, which would trigger the role of the county superintendent.
An election held during the county general election will cost $ 140,000 to $ 150,000. A special election specific to members of District Five would cost $ 110,000.
Administrator Keisha Thomas said she was happy the community expressed support for an election, but also acknowledged some of the challenges it presents, including the possibility of a 3-3 deadlock on some votes as the seventh seat remains vacant.
“The community came out strong and they really wanted an election,” Thomas said. “The flip side is we don’t know how long we’re going to have to wait. So we still have that uniform board that we’re going to have to worry about. “