Two incumbent Temecula school board members will serve another four-year term after no other candidates came forward for the November election.
Potential candidate, Sandra Hinkson, a retired teacher, pulled papers with an intention to campaign but told Patch she decided against running this time around. As a result, Kristi Rutz-Robbins and Allen Pulsipher will begin their second terms in office in December.
The district will save $120,000 it would have had to pay the Riverside County Registrar of Voters Office to hold the election. The money was at first set aside but then placed back into the district’s general fund when it was learned an election would not be necessary, according to Melanie Norton, spokesperson for the Temecula Valley Unified School District.
After nearly five years of state cutbacks to education, one board member said any amount of savings makes a difference.
“For the school district’s sake it is wonderful because we don’t have to spend $120,000 on an election,” said Bob Brown, school board president for Temecula Valley Unified.
“Doctors Robbins and Pulsipher are both good board members,” Brown continued. “I just think people are pretty satisfied with the way the district is being run right now. There are not a lot of contentious people coming before us. With all the problems that are going on right now in the district—the shortage of money—the quality of education is still there.”
There will, however be another item on the November ballot for voters in the Temecula Valley Unified School District.
School board members approved Measure Y in August as a ballot initiative. The measure asks voters to approve $165 million in bonds to be issued by the district in order to make district-wide improvements.
“That is really something we are pushing hard on right now, especially for the technology upgrades,” Brown told Patch. “We are running far behind on that right now; this is the only way we are going to be able to catch up.”
While the district is saving on the board election, it is still required to pay approximately $115,000 to put the measure on the ballot, according to Norton.
"We're hoping to bring the cost down by asking for support from some of our larger vendors (construction companies, suppliers, etc.)," Norton said. "We have staff working now contacting our vendors asking for their financial support to help us bring that dollar amount down."
According to the district website, funds from Measure Y would be used to:
- Upgrade classrooms, science labs, computer systems, and technology infrastructure to keep pace with advancing technology;
- Renovate, update and modernize facilities and equipment to provide new and expanded career technical programs and advanced courses in math, science, and technology so local children are prepared for college and good paying jobs;
- Improve energy efficiency, and reinvest the savings in programs such as arts and music;
- Repair and replace roofs, floors, walkways, lighting, electrical and plumbing systems; and
- Add classrooms, labs, and other facilities to meet student needs and reduce overcrowding.
If voters approve the ballot measure, an oversight committee would be appointed to do an annual audit of fund expenditures.
At least three projects are planned for each school site, according to district officials.
More information about the bond measure can be accessed on the district website by clicking here.
As for a school board election, the next race would not take place until November 2014, when the terms of Brown, Vincent O’Neal and Richard Shafer are set to expire.