Election winner can take post – for now
A south Nevada County school board won’t challenge a candidate’s right to take the office he won, but someone else might.
Jay Betz, who finished second out of seven candidates for three open seats on the Pleasant Ridge Union School District board of trustees, may take office Dec. 6 even though he is not a resident of the district, the district’s legal counsel, Mary Beth de Goede, advised trustees Tuesday night.
About 30 people showed up at the meeting to sometimes heatedly discuss whether Betz had a right to the seat since the state Education Code states he doesn’t meet the residency requirements to be on the board.
Betz’ house is in the Clear Creek School District, while his address allowed him to vote in the Pleasant Ridge Union School Districts where his children attend school. That was brought to light after he had been certified as a candidate in the Nov. 5 election.
An anonymous phone call to the school district office led to an inquiry by county Elections Office, which discovered that Betz’ driveway began in one district and ended in another.
Any member of the public can ask the state Attorney General to investigate Betz’ claim to office, but a 107-year-old case says he can take the post, de Goede said.
Since 3,078 people voted for Betz, de Goede said trustees’ requesting such an investigation “would undermine constituents’ will.”
The district also cannot prevent him from being seated, de Goede said. Once election results are certified, Betz is on the board, she said.
Ron Black, a neighbor of Betz’, said that Betz’ candidacy “slid under the carpet.”
“Everyone else has to play by the rules,” Black said. Black did not say whether he would contact the Attorney General.
Trustees are expected to be seated Dec. 10.
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