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Board filling vacancy; recall effort continues against Fant

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POSTED October 5, 2015 1:04 a.m.

Manteca Unified is expected to seat its second replacement board member in five months on Tuesday.

It is taking place as a citizens committee is actively soliciting signatures to recall trustee Sam Fant.

The board is meeting at 6 p.m. Tuesday at the district office, 2271 W. Louise Ave., to interview applicants and then discuss their choices before taking a vote — all of which will take place in public — to find a replacement for Ashley Drain.

Drain resigned in August creating the Area 2 vacancy. Whoever is appointed must reside in Area 2.   It is the largest in the district and the only one to include parts of the school system’s three biggest communities — Manteca,  Lathrop, and Weston  Ranch. It includes all of French Camp and the swath of rural area between the San Joaquin River and the district’s eastern boundary roughly a mile east of Prescott Road along French Camp Road.

 Only a small sliver of Area 2 is in Weston Ranch. It is a small area immediately west of Weston Ranch High and east of the San Joaquin River to the district’s eastern boundary

Area 2 also includes all of the City of Manteca north of Lathrop Road where Del Webb at Woodbridge and the Union Ranch neighborhoods are located.

The board is using the same appointment process they used to fill the seat Alexander Bronson held after he resigned in May.

Both Drain and Bronson were elected in November. They were charged with election fraud earlier this year by the San Joaquin County District Attorney based on evidence secured by investigators from the Secretary of State’s Office that neither resided in the school district areas when they filed for election as required by law. Drain also faces welfare fraud and grand theft charges.

Those working to recall Fant cite a scathing Grand Jury report that blasts Fant for what it considered the creation of a hostile work environment for allegedly not following district policies.  Those involved with the recall also believe Fant orchestrated the effort to get rid of two incumbents in November by getting Drain and Bronson — both Stockton residents at the time — to run for seats representing Manteca, Lathrop, French Camp and Weston Ranch.

The board on Tuesday will also:

uhear an update on efforts to improve the Weston Ranch High athletic fields.

uappoint elementary school principals at the Cowell and Widmer campuses.

uhear public input on Manteca Educators Association’s effort to reopen the 2014-17 master agreement regarding hours salaries, health and welfare benefits, transfers, and leaves.

To contact Dennis Wyatt, email

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