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MUSD To Fill Chau’s Seat By Appointment

The Montebello Unified School District Board of Education has decided to appoint a replacement to fill the seat left vacant by Ed Chau who was elected last month to the State Assembly.

The school board decided to select a provisional member rather than call for a special election to fill out Chau’s unexpired term.

MUSD’s legal counsel advised the school board at their meeting last week that in order to comply with state laws the district had to decide within 60 days of the vacancy whether they would make a provisional appointment or hold a special election.

Superintendent Robert G. Henke recommended that the board elect to make a provisional appointment, noting that a special election could cost the school district up to $250,000. Henke said the money that would be used to fund a special election should instead be used on educational purposes that benefit MUSD students.

Board President Hector Chacon called not spending a quarter of a million dollars on a special election “prudent.” It makes sense, Chacon told the crowd at the meeting.

Board members approved the consent agenda that included the recommendation to make a provisional appointment. They also agreed to revisit a list of applicants previously found to be eligible when the board was seeking a replacement for Marcella Calderon, who passed away shortly after being reelected. They agreed to contact the people on the list to determine if they are  still interested in serving on the school board.

Once the provisional member is appointed, he or she will serve on the board until the next election in November 2013.

The school board will be honoring Ed Chau at the school district’s special board meeting on Dec. 13 at 7 p.m. MUSD will also be discussing the reorganization of the board of education.