All four of the current members of the NUSD Board of Trustees are running in the upcoming election. All four are asking to be re-elected. But two of the four, trustees Tom Cooper and Debbie Butler, have never been on the ballot before. So are they really running for re-election if the fine citizens of Novato never voted for them before?
In August 2006, Butler was appointed to the board when a vacancy arose. In the fall of 2007, there were four open seats on the board. Three were current members — Butler, Cindi Clinton and Ross Millerick. The fourth seat was occupied by Aaron Brown, who decided not to run for re-election. Cooper was the only additional person to declare his candidacy; consequently it was an uncontested election. Clinton and Millerick have run in previous contested elections.
If there are an insufficient number of candidates applying for a particular office, there is no ballot. All candidates who file win since it is an uncontested race. On the one hand, they do “win” by default. On the other hand, is it really correct to consider them “elected” in the first place since no election is held? Four years later, then, are they really being re-elected?
And while I’m quibbling over the use of “re-elect,” I’m going to also quibble over the use of the term “master’s degree.” In the IJ’s story on Monday about the school board candidates, snapshot profiles of each of the five candidates actually taking part in the election were included. For Clinton, her education is listed as “holds master’s degrees in boardsmanship and governance through the California School Boards Association.” Apparently, successfully completing nine modules or a total of 60 hours of instruction gets someone one of these “master’s degrees.”
I don’t know, but I suspect the master’s degree in water quality engineering that Millerick obtained from UC Berkeley might have taken a tad more time. And can more accurately be called a master’s degree. As opposed to, say, a certificate. Interestingly, a Master’s in Governance Certificate is the precise term the CSBA uses to refer to what it awards.