Turlock school board to fill seat by appointment

naustin@modbee.comJuly 9, 2013 

    alternate textNan Austin
    Title: Education reporter
    Coverage areas: K-12 education, Yosemite Community College District
    Bio: Nan Austin has been a copy editor and reporter at The Modesto Bee for 24 years. She has an economics degree from CSU Stanislaus and previously worked at the Merced Sun-Star and Turlock Journal.
    Recent stories written by Nan
    On Twitter: @nanaustin
    E-mail: naustin@modbee.com

— The Turlock Unified School District board will select a replacement for trustee Grady Welch, avoiding the expense of a special election.

Welch submitted his letter of resignation, effective July 5, saying only that there were "many extenuating circumstances" that prevented him from fulfilling his duties, and that it had been "an honor and a privilege to serve on the board."

The remaining six trustees voted unanimously to make a provisional appointment to fill the seat, which comes up for election in November 2015. The appointment is expected to cost the district about $500, versus $56,000-$96,000 for a special election. Turlock Unified covers portions of Stanislaus and Merced counties, adding to the cost of electing a districtwide seat.

Turlock's switch to by-area elections creates complications for the seat, which in the November 2015 election will only be open to residents in odd-numbered areas in 2015. Three board members will be up for election this November, from Areas 2, 4 and 6.

The board set a July 23 deadline for applicants to apply, sending forms, résumé and documentation to Superintendent Sonny Da Marto. Applications will be reviewed by a three-trustee committee headed by board President Bob Weaver.

Aug. 6 was set as the date for interviewing candidates at a public board meeting and potentially announcing an appointee.

The appointee is expected to be sworn in at the regular board meeting Aug. 20.

To find the Turlock Unified area divisions, visit http://tinyurl.com/turlockboardmaps.

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