Sacramento City Unified school board member Ellyne Bell has put her fellow board members in a bind.
She took a job in San Francisco as executive director of a nonprofit six months ago but declined to announce her resignation in time for the board to put the Area 1 seat on the November general election ballot. Realistically, she would have had to announce her resignation in June, but she waited until the board's Oct. 18 meeting.
So now the board today has to decide whether to pay the $273,600 estimated cost for a special election on June 4 (leaving the seat vacant from January to June) or to appoint a replacement to fill out the last two years of her four-year term.
Though it is less than ideal, the board should opt for an appointment, aiming for a decision on Dec. 20.
The process should be similar to the one followed by the board when it replaced Rob Fong after he won a City Council seat in 2004.
The district advertised the appointment for two weeks, and seven people applied. The board reviewed applications in open session allowing public inspection. Two weeks later, qualified applicants made presentations and took questions. Two weeks after that, the board voted to appoint and swear in the new member.
That way, the process is open and public not a backdoor crony appointment and saves the district money that should go to classroom learning.
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