BY EMILY MIBACH
Daily Post Staff Writer
Balking at the nearly half-million-dollar price tag to hold an election to get two new members onto the Las Lomitas School Board, the board decided Wednesday night it will fill the vacancies by appointing new members.
The board has to fill two seats just a few weeks after the election because incoming board member Dr. Jody Leng decided to forfeit her seat and Jon Venverloh resigned on Nov. 8 after his wife, Mehridith Venverloh, tweeted a racist vulgarity about Vice President-elect Kamala Harris.
Trustee Dana Nunn said at the board meeting that she was “disgusted by the racist and misogynist” tweets. She said the issue has been emotional for the board and the Las Lomitas community and “all we can do is move forward and do better together.”
Neither Superintendent Beth Polito nor anyone on the board disclosed why Leng decided not to take her seat in mid-December, despite at least one person asking about it in a Zoom meeting.
Leng and Jason Morimoto beat out Molly Finn in the race for two seats. Morimoto requested Wednesday that the board hold off on appointing its new members until he is sworn in on Dec. 14. Deputy County Counsel John Nibbelin told the board it could replace the board members by election or appointment.
The board would have to wait until May to hold an election, which could cost the district between $365,000 and $438,000, Nibbelin said.
The board was against the high price tag, and Nunn said it’s possible only two people would qualify in an election and those two candidates would get on the board with little scrutiny.
But if the board has public interviews and deliberations regarding the candidates, then the process would be much more transparent.
The board decided that the two remaining board members, Nunn and John Earnhardt, will work with Polito to come up with an application for new board members.
Those applications will be due by Dec. 14, and Nunn, Morimoto and Earnhardt will appoint the two new members for a two-year term.