It’s unclear if new trustee can take office
Even without being able to vote for himself, Jay Betz beat out five other candidates for a seat on the Pleasant Ridge Union School District’s board of trustees.
Or did he?
As a result of anonymous phone calls to the school district office, Nevada County officials determined that Betz’s address is – but his residence isn’t – in the district for which he was certified as a candidate.
Now local school officials – or possibly an interested party – may seek an opinion from the state attorney general’s office on whether Betz can take office Dec. 6, said James Meshwert, district superintendent. Elected board members are will be sworn in on Dec. 10.
“I wish I knew,” said county Superintendent of Schools Terry McAteer about who could give the final verdict on Betz’s residency. “It’s over to the district at this point.”
The district’s legal counsel, Mary Beth De Goede, will continue to research the matter, but may ask the attorney general for an opinion.
Neither Meshwert nor county Clerk-Recorder Lorraine Jewett-Burdick can take action that could be seen to interfere with the election, both have said.
“Now that he has done very well, the district will have to address whether he’s eligible,” Meshwert said about Betz’s gaining 17.93 percent of the vote, barely behind incumbent Joann Rossovich’s 18.04 percent. “I hope there are positive results to that.”
Although a section of the state Education Code states that residency is required to be able to serve as a member of a board of trustees, “We’re looking at what’s considered a residence,” Meshwert said. “That hasn’t been done.”
Corrine Parilo got almost 56 percent of the votes cast in the Nevada Joint Union High School District board race without the endorsement of the teachers’ association or the county superintendent of schools.
Parilo said before the election that current trustees are a rubber stamp for district Superintendent Joe Boeckx, who received a vote of no confidence from the Nevada Union High School Teachers’ Association.
The 220-member association voted 121 to 4 to endorse Lorraine Plagge, who also gained the backing of McAteer and finished second to Parilo.
Parilo criticized Nevada Union High School’s lack of help for struggling students and a double standard in driving requirements for parents and coaches.
Parilo said the district hasn’t paid enough attention to keeping marginal students in NU.
She said her first actions will be to deal with why parents are required to furnish a copy of their Department of Motor Vehicles record while coaches and teachers, who often transport athletes to games, are not.
“Coaches who drive recklessly with athletes doesn’t work for me,” Parilo said.
McAteer said he was surprised at Parilo’s election, since “much of the educational community was not supporting Corrine, but I’m delighted she’s elected.”
“She’s an intelligent person who will add some dimension and add a little sparkle to the board and to discussion with teachers,” McAteer said.
“I am just so pleased with election results,” Parilo said. “I want to thank the voters for embracing my message.”
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