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Fernandes to leave MUSD school board

Courtesy of the Madera Unified School District

Brent Fernandes.


Trustees reject election to replace

School trustee Brent Fernandes has decided to resign his seat on the MUSD school board, effective June 13. He leaves with 19 months remaining in his current term.

Fernandes was first elected to the school board in November 2014 and was reelected in 2018. He served as board clerk in 2020, which would have put him in line for the board presidency in 2021. Fernandes represents Trustee Area 7.

At its regular meeting on April 27, the board voted 4-1 to appoint his successor rather than call an expensive special election to replace him. Trustee Israel Cortes voted against the measure. Trustees Ed McIntyre and Fernandes were absent.

The board has 60 days from the date of Fernandes’ departure to fill the vacancy. It had the option of calling an election or making a provisional appointment.

Having made the decision to appoint his successor, the district must follow guidelines set up by the Education Code and district Bylaws.

First, it must seek candidates or nominations by advertising the vacancy in the local media. A committee of board members (less than a quorum) will examine the candidates to ensure they are eligible to replace Fernandes and then announce the names of the eligible candidates.

Then, at a public meeting the board will interview each candidate and allow the public to provide written or oral input. Finally, the board will select the provisional appointee by a majority vote.

Once the board has made the provisional appointment, other procedural requirements kick in. Within 10 days of the appointment, the board must inform the public of its choice and apprise the people of their right to challenge the appointment by filing a petition for a special election with the Office of the County Superintendent of Schools. This must be done within within 30 days of the provisional appointment.

If a petition calling for a special election is not filed within the prescribed time limits, the provisional appointment becomes final.

The district must notify the public of its right to file a petition in a local newspaper, and the notice must be posted in at least three pubic places within the district.

If no petition challenging the provisional appointment is filed, the person appointed shall only hold the office until the next regularly held school board election.


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