Despite Santa Clarita Valley governing boards’ approval of election changes in response to California Voting Rights Act concerns, an outdated county system won’t be able to handle the changes for at least another four years, officials said. “Our current voting system both the devices we use at the polls and, more importantly, the tabulations system we use... can not run a cumulative voting system,” said Efrain Escobedo, governmental and legislative affairs manager for the Los Angeles County’s Registrar-Recorder’s Office. “It’s just the limitations of the technology,” he said, referring to a voting system created in the late 1960s.
The Saugus Union School District governing board nominated David Powell, a Cal Lutheran program director, to the vacant board seat Friday. Powell replaces Stephen Winkler, who had his seat vacated due to allegations he was maintaining a residence outside of the district’s boundaries. There were 15 12-minute candidate interviews in which the prospective candidates were asked eight questions on topics such as the Common Core Standards Initiative and the Local Control Funding Formula, as well as how the prospective board member would handle an upset parent.
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies are investigating a series of burglary reports, including an attempted hot prowl burglary, in the Stevenson Ranch area, officials said Friday. Two suspects attempted to break into a residence Wednesday on the 24700 block of Laurelcrest Lane, in unincorporated Los Angeles County, through a rear sliding glass window, according to Sheriff’s Station reports. “We’ve stepped up patrols in response and the zone leader for that area, Deputy Jeremy Carr, has been working with residents and Sheriff’s Station detectives to help identify and arrest the suspects,” said Sheriff’s Station deputy Josh Dubin of the Crime Prevention Unit. “We’ve been actively patrolling and we have detectives who are actively investigating the incidents.
Hart district officials changed their elections with a 4-1 vote Wednesday, following a discussion at the Santa Clarita Valley high school district’s governing board meeting. The change wasn’t a popular choice among board members, but it provided them with a “safe harbor” from a potential lawsuit, said Hart district governing board President Steve Sturgeon. “All five board members basically testified last night that we should be able to vote at large -- it gives an opportunity for the entire population to choose who their representatives are,” Sturgeon said. “So this becomes a little more exclusive to an area, which was the intent, and we’ll see how it works.”
Saugus Union School District officials have a list of 16 candidates for a vacancy on their governing board, officials said Wednesday. Saugus Union School District officials will be making their decision Friday after interviewing all the candidates who submitted valid applications. “The board is looking forward to welcoming a new board member who will provide community leadership and advocacy on behalf of our 10,000 students in our 15 award-winning schools,” stated Paul De la Cerda, SUSD board president, in a news release.
Santa Clarita officials questioned the legality of their own settlement in a California Voting Rights Act lawsuit in a briefing filed this week. The filing is a result of Santa Clarita officials’ uncertainty over whether their agreed-upon settlement is legal and feasible, said Joe Montes, Santa Clarita city attorney. “If cumulative voting is not permitted and we’re not allowed to change the election date, then the parties will have to confer again as to how the matter will proceed,” Montes said. “It could mean that the litigation resumes, it could mean settlement talks could have to resume -- that’s just too far off to speculate at this point.”
Santa Clarita Valley Sheriff’s Station deputies seized more than 1,500 packets of alleged “spice,” or illegal synthetic marijuana, and issued two citations as the result of an investigation into four Santa Clarita Valley tobacco and head shops, officials said Wednesday.