San Dieguito board passes resolution for mail ballot special election

SDUHSD board members Mo Muir, Melisse Mossy and Katrina Young discuss a special election resolution on June 16.
(Karen Billing)

At a June 16 special board meeting, the San Dieguito Union High School District board passed a resolution calling for an all-mail ballot for the Area 5 special election.

The board’s vacancy must be filled by a special election after a petition was filed by the San Dieguito Faculty Association against the board’s provisional trustee appointment process.

According to SDUHSD Interim Superintendent Lucile Lynch, the timeline of the election is still to be determined and they won’t know the exact cost until the actual ballots are processed. The range they received from the county was between $450,000 to $650,000 but a mail ballot election is expected to save the district about $150,000.

The resolution passed 3-1 with Trustee Katrina Young opposed.

Young said she did want to save the district money but had concerns with the language of the resolution which states that “the board took action, by a unanimous vote, to appoint Ty Humes as the provisional appointee to fill the vacancy on the board.”

While the board did vote 4-0 to appoint Humes, Young said they do not know if he was a “unanimous” choice. After interviewing all seven candidates, the board members each narrowed the field down to their top three unranked choices and then voted in favor of Humes as he was the only candidate who was listed in all four board members’ top three. Young said the wording could be misleading and asked that it be removed from the resolution.

“Knowing that is going to be a political issue, I want to take any hints of politics out of it and to not add support for or against because ‘unanimous’ does hint to me slightly in favor of supporting him,” Young said. “I want to make sure we, as a board, do everything we can to lower the temperature, build bridges and stay as neutral as possible.”

SDUHSD President Mo Muir said the resolution is reflective of the approved meeting minutes which state that the appointment was unanimous: “We did vote unanimously, he got four votes.”

Trustee Michael Allman said he was surprised that Young was questioning whether the appointment was unanimous or not—“I think this entire conversation is ridiculous,” he said. “He was our first choice, he was our only choice, Katrina.”

Young clarified that to her, Humes was one of her three choices and she asked respectfully, in the interest of unity, to strike those four words.

“We live in a very divided time right now, it’s our job as leaders to lower that temperature,” Young said.

“It does nothing to lower the temperature to lie to the public,” Allman said.

Without majority board support to change the verbiage, the resolution passed as written 3-1.

Lynch said that it is possible that the Area 5 election could be consolidated with the gubernatorial recall election, also yet to be scheduled. If that does happen the board’s resolution would be moot and a mail-in ballot would no longer be an option.