FAIRFIELD — A proposal for even-year elections will continue to change how local school board members are elected.
The California State Board of Education last month approved changing the Fairfield-Suisun School District from at-large voting to voting by individual districts. That move has the potential to force some current board members to face each other in a race.
Now the Fairfield-Suisun school board will look at moving all elections to even years. An informational item on the topic will be presented at 6 p.m. Thursday at the district office at 2490 Hilborn Road. No vote is scheduled on the item.
It’s the second time this month that local elected officials have talked about moving odd-year elections to even years. The Fairfield City Council recently heard a report from Solano County.
Supervisors Jim Spering and John Vasquez talked to the council last week about moving the elections to get more people to the polls during more popular election years and to save money by holding fewer elections. Council members gave their verbal support for the change and will likely vote on the issue in March.
The biggest change by moving to even years is extending current terms by one year. No matter what year terms expire, each candidate would slide back one year.
School board President Perry Polk said he remembers discussing the change to even years when he was on the City Council in the 1990s. He said the council felt local candidates and issues could be ignored by voters if buried under state and national races. Polk said with more people using vote-by-mail ballots, extra time is spent on voting while at home.
“The down-ballot issue may have gone away for a different reason,” he said. “Absentee voters have a chance to do the ballot in a couple of days and not in the poll with a long line of people behind them.”
Polk said moving to districts would not affect the move to even years if approved. Just as each term would be extended a year, changing to districts would also be delayed a year and would still apply to each election.
Those trustees up for re-election in 2013 are Polk, David Isom and David Gaut. Polk and Isom represent the same district, which would force the two to run against one another if they seek re-election.
Reach Danny Bernardini at 427-6935 or firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter at www.twitter.com/dbernardinidr.