Sulphur Springs School District officials are continuing public comment meetings, as they seek Santa Clarita Valley residents’ input on possible settlements in a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit, officials said.
After the elementary school district settled a lawsuit alleging the district’s at-large elections violated the CVRA, officials have been working on a plan to divide the school district into five voting areas, said Kerry Clegg, board president for the Sulphur Springs School District.
“There hasn’t been anyone objecting to it really,” Clegg said. “All we’re going to be doing is to establish five areas who will elect their own trustees more locally.”
More than 50 people attended last week’s meeting at Golden Oak Community School, where the board presented two proposals for the five divisions.
“In the previous public commentary, there weren’t any comments,” Clegg said. “Nobody got up to speak for or against the proposals. We did presentation, staff members asked questions.”
Sulphur Springs News
The five divisions are designed to have nearly equal populations and localize the candidates, Clegg said.
The next public hearing is slated for Oct. 15 at Mitchell Community School in Canyon Country. This will not be a board meeting, but a special meeting to provide another opportunity for the community to weigh in on the plans, officials said.
“There will be maps available from (Oct. 9),” said Selina Hurst, district executive secretary for Sulphur Springs. The maps will remain on display until decisions are made and approved by the board.
The next regularly scheduled board meeting for the Sulphur Springs School District is scheduled for Oct. 8.
After the public commentary meetings, the board members will ultimately vote on which of the division proposals that they will use, Clegg said.
Two board members are up for election in 2015, Denis DeFigueredo and Shelly Weinstein. The other three board members are up for election in 2017.
The two seats would be potentially filled by two out of the five area’s candidates in the 2015 election.
By dividing the district, candidates will most likely have to attain less votes than they normally would because they would be competing in a smaller community, Clegg said.
After the proposed division, a candidate would potentially have to earn dozens of votes instead of hundreds of votes.
Here’s a look at the two divisions being proposed, which are being referred to as the blue map and the green map, with their accompanying demographics: