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BREAKING NEWS: LAUSD Board calls for special election

LA School Report | January 7, 2014

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imgresThe LA Unified school board tonight voted to hold a special election to fill the District 1 seat, which was left vacant by the death last month of Marguerite LaMotte.

The vote effectively creates a primary for June 3 and a runoff election on August 12, if no one receives more than 50 percent of the primary vote. A vote to fill the seat with an appointment failed, 3-3.

The vote for the election was 4-2, with President Richard Vladovic, Tamar Galatzan, Monica Garcia and Steve Zimmer as the majority, and Bennett Kayser and Monica Ratliff voting no.

The vote followed a lengthy debate by elected officials, community members and board members that included impassioned arguments for an appointment so the seat is not left vacant for months. Because so many felt so strongly about depriving the district of a representative for so long, the board’s vote also included a request to get a legal opinion on whether a caretaker could fill the seat until the election is over.

That request came despite the district’s chief legal advisor, David Holmquist, advising members that the LA City Charter does not provide for an interim appointment prior to a scheduled election. The members asked Holmquist, nonetheless, to examine the issue and report back in a week if there are any options that would allow for one.

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