NC school board membership in flux |

NC school board membership in flux

As the Nevada City School District mulls a potential merger with Grass Valley, its school board is seeking a member to fill a vacant seat while another candidate who had filed for the November election has dropped out of the race.

Former board member Amy Wiser resigned to move her family to New York, where her husband has secured a technology job, she told The Union in August.

Wiser’s resignation was officially accepted at the Sept. 12 school board meeting where its members set a Sept. 27 deadline for accepting applications for prospective board appointees.

Subsequently, the board will interview all applicants publicly at an Oct. 9 board meeting where the sitting members will then vote to appoint one of the candidates.

At that same Sept. 12 gathering, Augustine del Valle backed out of the November election, in which two incumbent board members, Trish Gerving and board President Paula Campbell, are defending their seats.

“Unfortunately my personal circumstances have changed since I decided to run for this important position, and I find that I cannot give sufficient time and energy to the serious issues involved,” del Valle said, citing unforeseen and increased professional obligations.

“I may reconsider running for local public office again at some point in the future when I can provide the effort such important positions in our community deserve,” he said.

With del Valle out of the November race, only Erin Ruark-Minett remains.

Both are members of the neighborhood organization Friends of Nevada City Elementary which lobbied against the 2010 closure of the school as declining enrollment, plummeting property tax revenue and state laws regarding charter schools created a $1.4 million gap in the district’s $9 million budget.

“My views substantially coincide with Erin and I believe it’s more important to place a new member on the board rather than compete with Erin for the position,” del Valle said.

Members of Friends of NCE have appeared at school board meetings and spoken in opposition of talks with Grass Valley School District about consolidating the two elementary districts, raising concerns of loss of control and culture, among others.

Ruark-Minett did not return multiple phone calls to her home phone Thursday and Friday, but Friends of NCE member Laurie Oberholtzer said the Ruark-Minett has not submitted papers to be considered for appointment and will likely remain in the election race.

Superintendent Roxanne Gilpatric said the district will not disclose the number or names of applicants until the Sept. 27 meeting.

Board President Campbell said that at least one person had already filed the paperwork, but she was unaware of the applicant’s identity.

Applicants must be registered voters residing in the Nevada City School District.

Interested citizens should contact the District Office at 800 Hoover Lane, Nevada City, for an application, which must be submitted no later than 3 p.m. Thursday. Applicants’ letters and applications will be part of a public agenda at the Oct. 9 board meeting.

To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email or call (530) 477-4236.

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