Wednesday: Portola Valley school board to decide how to fill vacancy

Just-elected board member must resign appointed seat

How to fill a vacancy on the Portola Valley School District's governing board will be on the agenda when the board meets on Wednesday, Nov. 15.

The vacancy exists because just-elected board member Jeff Klugman was appointed to fill the remainder of Jennifer Youstra's term after she resigned in September. State law says he must resign the appointed position and take the elected position.

The recommendation from Superintendent Eric Hartwig is to make a provisional appointment rather than set a special election, which would not occur until April.

The open session of the meeting starts at 6 p.m. in the Annex Building at Corte Madera School, 4575 Alpine Road.

Also on the agenda is a report from Superintendent Hartwig advising the board to wait until next August to decide if it wants to put a bond measure on the November 2018 ballot to pay for projects in a facilities master plan.

Find the board agenda and documents on the district's website.

The meeting will be the last for three of its five board members: Caitha Ambler, Timothy McAdam and Karen Tate.


4 people like this
Posted by Neighbor
a resident of Portola Valley: Central Portola Valley
on Nov 14, 2017 at 5:52 pm

I strongly believe that the next board member should be selected via special election. In fact, I find it really odd that a school board can self-select another member. Not to be too paranoid, but it simply invites confusion, since there doesn't appear to be any independent supervision of the way funds are spent.

With a special election, the community of Portola Valley would have the opportunity to elect the final member of the board. Given the seriousness of the previous financial issues in the PV School District (Hanretty), and adding to that the 70 to 100 million dollar bond that Mr. Hartwig is in favor of---or was, in previous conversations with local residents and school board members all summer---I know I would feel better with an independently elected board member. I suspect other people would be more comfortable as well. It may be that the majority of PV would like to pass this bond measure next year. However, I think it best that there be no question of stacking the deck on the board, or any lack of transparency in how any funding is being or might be spent.

This raises another few questions: Has there been an audit of the budget for 2015-2016? I don't see it listed on the PVSD site. Are we continuing to have an independent firm audit our finances? What is the name of the "finance guy" who reports the budget (I think?) to the school board? I don't see him listed on the PVSD site. Does he work for the Town of Portola Valley, the PVSD (and thus reporting to Mr. Hartwig and the board) or an independent agency?

Thank you.

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