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Move to by-trustee area elections resumes

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San Juan Unified School District will resume the process of transitioning to by-trustee area elections on July 1, after it was paused under a state executive order during the COVID-19 pandemic to protect public health and safety. During a special meeting on July 1, the district’s demographer will review the process and criteria used to develop trustee area maps and the board will hear public input. 

Currently, the district uses an election method referred to as ‘at-large’ in which all candidates for the board are on each voter’s ballot. Voters then vote for up to the number of currently open seats with those receiving the most votes from across the district being elected. In a by-trustee area election, the district is divided into smaller areas each represented by one board member. Candidates for the board must reside in the area they will represent and voters only select one candidate from those in their area. 

Map options will be made available for review by July 6, and a second special meeting of the board will be held on July 13, providing for a presentation by the demographer on the maps and an opportunity for public input. Community meetings on July 14 and 15 (UPDATED DATES), will be held at multiple locations throughout the district, as well as online, offering additional opportunities for input which can also be submitted online at any time by visiting https://www.sanjuan.edu/elections

The board will hold a final special meeting on July 27, 2021, providing for public hearings before selecting the final map to adopt, and resolution to move on to the County Commission for approval. The County Commission must take action by August 10.  

In March of 2020, the Board of Education unanimously approved a resolution beginning the formal process to move to by-trustee area elections. After an initial presentation and public hearing, Governor Newsom issued executive order N-48-20 in April of 2020 which paused the timeline for the process to protect public health and safety during the pandemic. The board voted to pause the process in compliance with the executive order. 

With Governor Newsom’s executive order pausing such processes due to the COVID-19 pandemic expiring after June 30, the district will resume the transition and complete the process within the legally required timeframe. 

2020 Census data was delayed and has not yet been made available. To meet the required timelines, the current map designs will use data from the 2010 Census and then be revisited later this fall once the newer data is available. 

Visit https://www.sanjuan.edu/elections for the latest information on the process, full timelines, and maps once they are available.