By Raiza Giorgi

Instead of doing a costly special election to fill a vacant seat of the Santa Ynez Valley Union High School District Board, the remaining board members decided they will make an appointment. 

The position was open for appointment when Dr. John Baeke announced his resignation effective July 1, as he had a career conflict. He still had two years of his four year term left. The appointee will fill his term until November 2022. 

Valley resident Tanya Crandall wrote into the board that she preferred an election so the ‘taxpayers, parents and registered voters of the community vote on the board member to fill the vacancy,’.

During a special board meeting, new Superintendent Andrew Schwab said that state law allows for either an appointment, or to call a special election which could cost the district $75,000. 

“We are outside the window to coincide with the November 2 election, which is why it would be an additional cost,” Schwab noted. 

Board President Jan Clevenger said with the appointment the new member could get going right away, rather than waiting for the election. 

“Because we are outside the 130 days for the general election, we don’t want to wait and a provisional appointment would be a quicker process,” Clevenger said. 

Board member Stephen Luke said he thought the money would be better used for classrooms and students and preferred an election but decided to agree with the appointment process. 

Board member Tory Babcock agreed the money would be better spent for the classroom. 

“There will be times when we need a 5th person to make a decision and we really need to have this position filled,” Babcock said. 

Interested candidates are invited to complete the application packet and submit it by 3 p.m. on August 10 to Terry Westfall or mailed P.O. Box 398, Santa Ynez, CA 93460. 

The candidates selected to interview will be posted on Aug. 13, for the Aug. 17 meeting agenda packet. The board will then interview the candidates and select who will serve at that meeting. 

Candidates eligibility requirements are they be at least 18 years old, a citizen of California and reside in the SYVUHSD district, a registered voter and not disqualified from holding public office. 

Visit HERE for the candidate packet.