San Dieguito board vacancy to be filled in November election

San Dieguito Union School District board meets on April 20.
(Karen Billing)

The San Dieguito Union High School District board will wait until the November election to fill the vacancy left by Trustee Melisse Mossy’s resignation this month.

This is the second board member to resign over the last year.

At the April 20 meeting, the board split 2-2 on going through the appointment process to select Mossy’s replacement at their next meeting with President Mo Muir and Vice President Michael Allman in favor and Julie Bronstein and Katrina Young opposed.

Allman stated his intention to try to come to a consensus trustee appointment, otherwise, they will spend six months with a divided, four-person board.

“Us going forward with a 2-2 board, I don’t think we’ll get anything done,” Muir agreed. “I don’t think it’s right to not have a representative for that area,”

In light of the current controversy, Allman also said the appointment process could be an opportunity for the board to appoint someone from the Asian community to represent their interests.

Under the California Education Code, school boards have 60 days from the date the resignation is filed to make a provisional appointment to fill the vacancy or call for a special election. Almost a year ago the board used the appointment process to fill the seat left vacant by the resignation of Trustee Kristin Gibson. The provisional appointment was then successfully challenged by a petition and a special election was held in November to elect Bronstein.

“The last appointment process didn’t go well…they actually voided out our decision,” Young said. “ I don’t believe we have the trust of the community to make that selection.”

Bronstein and Young said given how divided the community is, the responsible thing is to allow the public to decide via an election. An appointment, Bronstein argued, could also give the person a slight advantage when they ran again in November as an incumbent.

According to the district’s attorney Kendall Swanson, with the board’s vote not to take action there will not be a need for a special election as it could be consolidated with the November election at no additional cost to the district.