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Public hearing Tuesday on new Lodi Unified School District voting procedures

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Posted: Monday, August 19, 2013 2:18 pm | Updated: 2:32 pm, Mon Aug 19, 2013.

The San Joaquin County Board of Education will conduct a public hearing at 5:30 p.m. Tuesday on a proposal for the Lodi Unified School District to change the voting procedure in future school board elections. The proposal also makes slight changes to individual trustee area boundaries.

If the county board, sitting as the county Committee on School District Organization, approves the proposal, voters will cast ballots for only one seat on the seven-member Lodi Unified board starting in 2014. Voters will be able to cast their ballot only for people running within the same trustee area boundary as the voter.

Currently, trustees must live within a particular geographical area in their district, but voters may cast their ballots for candidates in all seven trustee areas.

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 recommendations are being made after other school districts have been sued or threatened with lawsuits because board members didn’t reflect the district’s diversity, according to a draft resolution. The changes are being considered to reflect the 2010 Census.

The county schools meeting will be held at the James Areida Education Support Center, 3505 E. Vine St., Lodi. Lodi Unified’s regular meeting will begin at 7 p.m.

Contact reporter Ross Farrow at rossf@lodinews.com.

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