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Breaking News: Board votes against filling vacancy

LA School Report | January 14, 2014

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Richard Vladovic

Board President Richard Vladovic

An effort to fill the LA Unified board’s vacancy failed today when a 3-3 vote doomed an effort to set a process leading to an appointment.

As a result, unless the board takes up the matter again at another time, the seat left open by the death of Marguerite LaMotte will remain unfilled until a special primary on June 3 or a runoff on Aug. 12 if the primary winner does not get more than 50 percent of the vote.

The most contentious debate focused on whether the temporary member could vote on issues before the board. Before calling for a vote on a measure that would have led to identifying a caretaker representative by March 3, Board President Richard Vladovic said the district had received six legal opinions, including one from the district’s own legal counsel, “and they all say the same thing.”

“There’s no ambiguity from any of the legal opinions we’ve received,” he said.

Yet the vote failed when Bennett Kayser, who was part of a commission that wrote the LA City Charter that set the rules that deny appointments a vote, joined Monica Garcia and Monica Ratliff in opposing the measure.

Vladovic, Tamar Galatzan and Steve Zimmer, the sponsor of the motion who would have been chairman of an ad hoc committee to identify one more more candidates to fill the seat, voted in favor.

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