Residents of the Menlo Park City School District interested in serving an eight-month term on the school board have until Feb. 7 to apply for appointment to the seat left vacant by the resignation this week of longtime member Laura Linkletter Rich.
The school board voted last night (Jan. 14) to appoint a member to serve out the term, which ends in December, rather than call for a special election. Ms. Rich recused herself from the discussion and the vote.
Board members considered the cost of an election about $32,000 if held in June and the fact that a person elected at that time wouldn't take office until August, before making their decision.
Elected to the board in 1998, Ms. Rich is the longest-serving trustee in the district's history, according to district records. She announced her resignation last week, citing increasing family commitments that required her to be out of town frequently.
Last night's meeting was her last her resignation was effective at midnight. But before she stepped down, a stream of current and former board colleagues praised her for both her 15 years of service and the energy and spirit she brought to the work of district leadership. Former state senator and current Santa Clara County Supervisor Joe Simitian also stepped to the podium to recognize her work in the district and as the district's representative on the California School Boards Association, which addresses statewide issues involving education.
The district will accept applications, in the form of a candidate statement of no more than 400 words and a statement providing information concerning residency and age, until 1 p.m. Friday, Feb. 7. Applications must be submitted to the district office at 181 Encinal Ave. in Atherton in hard copy and with an original signature.
The candidate statement should include a statement of purpose and description of qualifications, and any other relevant information, according to the district.
To be eligible for the position, a candidate must be 18 or older, a U.S. citizen, a resident of the district, and a registered voter.
A candidate information night was scheduled for Wednesday, Jan. 29. The board will interview candidates at a special meeting set for Monday, Feb. 10, and the appointee will be sworn into office at the board's regular meeting on March 11.
For more information, call the district office at 321-7140.