When we last left off, Novato resident and NUSD parent Peter Hamilton had put forth before the Board of Trustees this suggestion: trim the number of board members from seven to five. He's done all the heavy lifting and research on how to make it happen. You might have read his in June.
At the board meeting June 5, the proposal met with heavy resistance from some. Only one member, Trustee Debbie Butler, voiced support for such a move. At the opposite extreme, Board Vice President Ross Millerick vowed to never vote for such a move. Board President Cindi Clinton also voiced strong opposition.
Without the board taking the step to reduce itself, it's now up to the Marin County School District Organization to consider it. According to informed sources, lobbying on the part of at least one trustee to make sure the SDO doesn't accept the proposal has already begun.
What's the public to do? First, it needs to officially come to the SDO, and that requires all of about 300 registered voters in Novato to sign a petition. An online version of the petition garnered more than the necessary signatures in days. Whereas online might be the way the world gets its news nowadays, it's not yet the way the government recognizes signatures.
So you'll be seeing some signature gatherers in the coming days — perhaps on the first day of school or at the welcome back events or maybe even at board workshops — armed with official petitions. The hope is to secure those 300 quickly and get the petitions verified and delivered to the SDO.
Then what? If the SDO can't be persuaded by more than 300 people to let it come to a vote in the next general election, 3,000 people will need to sign a petition demanding it be put to the people. And then the people can decide. You know, kind of like "of the people, by the people, for the people."
There are plenty of reasons to reduce the board size down to five. I've uploaded the FAQs, the proposal itself, and a petition page. If you're of the mind to go gather signatures, please do contact Hamilton (email@example.com) before you do. This needs to be done by the book and Hamilton has specific guidelines you should follow.
And if you're looking just to sign and don't know anyone with a petition, look for me. I'll be the one in sandals.