Edwards’ board representation faces downsizing

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MORESanta Anita opens winter meet Saturday with loaded card160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE – Kern County officials will take public input Wednesday on Muroc Joint Unified School District’s proposal to change the way the district elects its trustees. Kern County’s Committee on School District Organization will hold two public hearings on whether the district should change the requirement that two board members come from Edwards Air Force Base because those representatives frequently move. “The committee will do an introduction, then I will give a summary of why the board passed the resolution to change the trustee areas, then they will open it up to public comment,” Superintendent Mike Summerbell said. “The committee will listen to people from the public who have an opinion on whether this is a good or bad thing.” The hearings will be at 5 p.m. at the district office, 17100 Foothill Ave., in North Edwards, and at 7 p.m. at the theater on base. A ballot measure approved by voters in 1990 requires that the board have two seats filled by Edwards residents, two by residents of Boron and one from North Edwards. There is frequent turnover on the board because trustees holding the base seats are usually spouses of base personnel who are reassigned every few years by the Air Force. A district study found that since 1990 trustees holding the base seats have served an average of 21 months. The district is proposing to have one seat each representing the base, Boron and North Edwards, and two seats at-large. Base parents, however, perceive the proposed change as something that will hurt their representation and have suggested that the base get more than two seats because base schools hold two-thirds of the district’s enrollment, district officials said. The committee on school district organization is made up of 11 members who are Kern County school superintendents and administrators, Summerbell said. The committee could decide whether to support the change at the conclusion of the second meeting, or hold another meeting to announce a decision. A decision in favor of the change would mean placing the issue before district voters on the June ballot. There’s also a possibility that the change could be implemented without a public vote if the committee considers it a “minor adjustment,” Summerbell said. If residents disagree with that decision, they can petition to hold an election, Summerbell said. District officials have said when the base board members move away and their seats become vacant, there is sometimes scant interest from applicants, and people are appointed because they are the only ones who have applied. Measure F was approved by voters in 1990 to balance board representation during a time when the board majority was held by Boron business people, residents had said. In 1993, some residents tried to repeal the measure, but the county organization committee turned them down, saying the then-new system hadn’t had time to prove itself. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected]last_img read more