Hart district’s Board of Governors finalize election plans

The Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District meets Wednesday to discuss matters on its agenda.

Hart district officials adopted a resolution Wednesday that finalizes local election laws months before the upcoming November vote.

On Wednesday, the Governing Board of the William S. Hart Union High School District formally approved a resolution establishing a biennial and by-trustee area election system, requiring applicants to pay the estimated costs associated with publicizing a campaign and limiting candidate statements to a maximum of 200 words.

Under the current district’s voting area plan, seats in trustee areas No. 2, 3 and 5 will be up for election in 2018.

Those seats are held by Robert Jensen, Cherise Moore and Joe Messina, respectively — Jensen announced last night that he intends to run and he knows the others will also seek re-election in the fall after Moore announced her candidacy Thursday.

The district oversees public junior highs and high schools for the Santa Clarita Valley, which includes approximately 22,000 students.

“When I hear from students and parents that they are surprised and happy to see me on the school board, I know that this opportunity to serve is making an impact in ways I never imagined,” Dr. Moore said in a press release. “It is those calls, those emails, and those smiles that encouraged her to serve, to give, to represent, and to make a difference.”

Moore noted that her primary focus this election will be on student equity and access to the first-class education offered by the Hart District. She said she intends to continue to address fiscal transparency and overall accountability.

Both Caldwell and Jensen described the election rule changes as a formality, considering candidates have known about the biennial elections and rules since the adoption of the California Voter Participation Rights Act, Senate Bill 415, in January 2017, when the district elected to match the date of its local elections with others in the state.

“This sets the election process in motion and very clearly outlines that the costs will be handled by the candidates,” said Dave Caldwell, spokesman for the William S. Hart Union High School District. “It’s simply a matter of putting a few things into writing as we prepare for November.”

The move also puts potential candidates on notice of their need to pay their share of printing, handling and mailing costs for election materials.

Messina said he would, “continue to work hard for our students,” when he declared his bid for re-election earlier this month.

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