Proposal would limit time on school board

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Voters in the Sweetwater Union High School District will elect two of four candidates on the district’s board of trustees in November’s general election.

But voters in the largest secondary school district in California have another important decision to make on Nov. 8.
Through Ballot Measure CC, voters will determine if they want to impose hard term limits for the district’s policymakers.

Currently a Sweetwater board member can serve as many consecutive terms as they like, as long as voters keep them in office.

“As long as the community keeps voting for the same person, they can technically run every four years,” said Sweetwater Union High School District spokesman Manny Rubio.

Measure CC, if passed by voters, will limit the number of terms a member of the board of trustees may serve.
The proposal would limit board members to two four-year terms regardless of trustee area represented.

Any person who serves in excess of one-half of a full term as a board member by way of appointment, election or any combination thereof, shall be deemed to have served one full term, the proposal states.

Any board member who resigns or is removed from office with less than one-half of a full term remaining until the expiration of the term shall be deemed to have served a full term.

“We’re trying to address all scenarios where you serve the whole eight years or not,” said board president Nick Segura, who is seeking reelection.

If the majority of voters approve term limits the limit would apply to any board member elected or appointed after Dec. 31.

Segura said setting a limit on the number of terms an individual may serve on the board will cause a rejuvenation of the board by bringing fresh ideas and broadening the range of persons making important decisions affecting the district.

“I think it’s healthy for the district for fresh ideas and to have more citizens able to participate in that process so we don’t end up with lifelong trustees,” Segura said.

Segura admits the proposal partially derives from the corruption scandal that rocked the Sweetwater district a few years ago in which four of five board members were indicted in a pay-for-play scheme.

“That’s partially the case but this is more about trying to get other people in the community involved and let them run for office so somebody doesn’t have a stranglehold in an office,” he said. “We’re trying to  make sure that this does not turn into a career job for somebody.”

Proposal would limit time on school board