Grace Malson herself admits it was a whirlwind week.
First, she was chosen from a pool of five as Galt Joint Union Elementary School District's provisional board appointee.
Then she wasn't.
Fellow candidate Pat Maple challenged the district's original decision earlier this month when board president John Gordon denied allowing public comment. A new meeting was held last week and Malson was again chosen to replace Jennifer Collier, who resigned.
Malson says she brings not only creativity, but passion and drive to the table.
Over the weekend, she answered a series of questions via email.
Q: Tell me, what went through your mind when you learned the board decision might be challenged?
A: I know about the Brown Act and knew that the board had to make good on the violation.
Q: How up-to-date are you on the state's open meeting laws?
A: I read up on the Brown Act, and I am doing my homework about open meeting laws. I am also attending a training in January for first-time board members.
Q: Brown Act violation aside, why do you think you were ultimately chosen as the provisional appointment?
A: I feel that my experience, drive, determination and willingness to be an active parent in the community are a few (of the) reasons I was chosen.
Q: Your job history shows a lot of experience working with youths through parks and recreation departments in both Galt and Lodi. How do you think those jobs prepared you to be a board trustee?
A: My career has prepared me for this position in many ways. I am used to working with schools to provide recreation programs on school campuses after school hours. I know that it is beneficial for the children that these programs are offered and that there is a good working relationship between school districts and the recreation department.
I am also familiar with budgets and making them work for all parties involved.
Q: How do you feel about handling the big budget cuts — like music and physical education — that could be presented to you in the coming months?
A: This makes me nervous because I feel that the arts and physical education are just as important as academics. I am trying to be optimistic about any potential cuts.
Q: What might better prepare the board to guard against violating the Brown Act in the future?
A: A refresher on open meeting laws and training would be beneficial, so this does not happen in the future.
Q: I know you've barely started your term, but what are your thoughts about running for office in November?
A: I am open to any possibility.
Q: What's your favorite part about living in Galt?
A: My favorite part of Galt is the small-town atmosphere and the sense of community. I am always running into someone I know at the store.
You cannot get that sense of community in the big city.
Q: As a parent, what's one hidden gem you've found for children here?
A: I enjoy that there is more than one park within walking distance, and the bigger ones are only a quick drive (or longer walk). And each park offers something a little different than the next, so there are many options for outdoor activities on nice days.
GRACE MALSON AT A GLANCE
- Chosen from pool of five applicants to serve as Galt Joint Union Elementary School District's provisional trustee through 2012.
- Has a 4-year-old daughter, who will be attending River Oaks Elementary School in the fall.
- Father is former City Councilman Tom Malson; mother is also named Grace.
- Moved to Galt in 1981 after living in the Sacramento/Elk Grove area while attending college. Purchased a house and made Galt her permanent home in 2010.
Contact reporter Jennifer Bonnett at firstname.lastname@example.org.