Live coverage tonight of Tahoe Truckee school board special session |

Live coverage tonight of Tahoe Truckee school board special session

Jason Shueh
Sierra Sun

TAHOE/TRUCKEE, Calif. and#8212; It will be a coin flip to see who will temporarily fill the seat of former area 1 trustee Bill Kraus until elections in November.

Wednesday’s special session of the Tahoe Truckee Unified School District board begins with the two applicants, Robert Jamison and Pat Gibbons Johnson and#8212; a former trustee and#8212; being publicly interviewed by the board. Immediately afterward, the chosen appointee will be sworn into office.

Board President Kristy Olk said she will be looking for a candidate who has experience or knowledge about the district yet who can also think objectively when voting on the issues.

and#8220;Basically, it’s somebody who already has some understanding of the system and the schools and how they work, someone who is able to look at issues from different perspectives and point of views,and#8221; Olk said.

Trustee Lisa Mohun said board members were given a list of potential interview questions they were asked to rate in order of importance, and the top rated questions will be presented Wednesday.

and#8220;I’m looking for a level-headed, fair-minded and balanced person; experience is great, but you still have to learn the issues,and#8221; Mohun said.

Highlighting last week’s board meeting where trustees failed to approve a resolution on November election boundaries for trustee candidates, Mohun said she commended Jamison and Johnson for volunteering, yet said the fact only two people volunteered is proof geographic boundaries need to be done away with. This, she said, would allow more people with different experience levels and views to apply.

Mohun also questioned what would have happened if only one applicant had applied for the position and he or she was unqualified to fill the seat.

and#8220;When somebody says we do it this way because we’ve always done it this way, that’s when my hair goes up,and#8221; she said.

Olk, who adamantly opposed the idea of at-large trustee candidates, said it could create a lack of representation for lakeside and Truckee taxpayers in the district who are taxed differently based upon bond money collected for their school sites.

and#8220;Basically, it sets it up for voters being taxed and not having representation.and#8221; Olk said. and#8220;Having at-large trustees lends itself to special interests being able to take over.and#8221;

Pointing to the current trustee election process, where candidates apply by geographic area and are voted on by all district voters, Mohun disagreed and said the current system offers no guarantee trustees will be unbiased.

Giving examples, Mohun said trustees can have kids who go to the same school or have a three-person majority who vote almost always in the same way.

and#8220;It doesn’t matter where trustees live, it can still be stacked,and#8221; Mohun said.

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