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Lodi Unified School District voting policy changed

San Joaquin County board alters election format; starting in 2014, voters will only select trustee for the area where they live

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Posted: Wednesday, August 21, 2013 12:00 am

Voters in Lodi Unified School District elections used to cast ballots for candidates in all trustee areas of the seven-member board.

However, beginning in November 2014, voters will cast their ballot only for candidates in the trustee area where the voter lives.

The San Joaquin County Board of Education, sitting as the county Committee on School District Organization, unanimously adopted the change in Lodi Unified’s board election format.

The county board conducted a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday at Lodi Unified’s district office, with no one commenting on the proposal. The only people present for the hearing were two Lodi Unified administrators and a Lodi News-Sentinel reporter. The meeting lasted three minutes.

The public hearing wasn’t announced until Monday. The News-Sentinel posted a story about the hearing on its website, Lodinews.com, as soon as the newspaper was informed of the meeting early Monday afternoon.

The county school board also approved slight changes to the boundaries of each Lodi Unified board member’s trustee area.

Current board members George Neely, Ron Heberle, Ron Freitas and Ruth Davis live in Lodi; Bonnie Cassel is from Clements; and Ralph Womack and Joe Nava are from North Stockton.

The changes were made after other school districts were sued or threatened with lawsuits because board members didn’t reflect the district’s diversity, according to a resolution. The changes were made to reflect the 2010 Census.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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