The Hermosa Beach City School District Board voted 3-1 at its regular meeting Wednesday to appoint a new board member following the resignation of Patti Ackerman on Aug. 31.
Ackerman, who joined the school board in November of 2011 and was re-elected in November 2015, served two terms as board president. The term of the now vacant position runs until the November 2020 election.
Superintendent Pat Escalante said the board had two options: appoint a new member or hold a special election that could cost $65,000. She recommended going the less expensive route.
“They are the most expensive elections because the cost is not shared by anyone else … it becomes a fiscal decision because the state allows you the option,” said Escalante, who noted that the Hermosa Beach school board had never held a special election.
Boardmember Carlene Beste said it was a “clear decision” to appoint. Mary Campbell and Monique Ehsan agreed.
“In a tiny school district like ours that is so extraordinary underfunded, that has to fight for every penny, that relies on the generosity of parents, students, businesses every step of the way … I really can’t justify spending $65,000 on a special election,” Ehsan said.
Board President Margaret Bove-LaMonica was the dissenting vote saying her first instinct was to hold the special election. She said that the cost was “worth the democratic process,” especially since the appointment runs until November 2020.
“Although $65,000 is a significant amount of money for this district to spend, it is why we have reserves. I think it’s an…
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