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Four Manteca school trustee terms ending

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POSTED February 7, 2014 1:45 a.m.

Elections this year are 10 months away. Four of the seven members of the Manteca Unified Board of Education are ending their current four-year term before the year is over.

They are board president Don Scholl of Area 5, Evelyn Moore who is also representing a part of Area 5, Manuel Medeiros of Area Two, and Nancy Teicheira of Area 4.

The other Trustees who will not have to worry about possible re-election campaigns until 2016 are Trustees Sam Fant of Area 1, Deborah Romero of Area 5, and Michael Seelye of Area 3.

Moore, who is currently serving her fifth term of office, is the doyenne of the board of trustees. Each term runs four years. Not far behind her is Trustee Medeiros who has been a board member for a total of 18 years, though not consecutively.

Regardless of which termed-out trustees will run for re-election, Manteca Unified will need to finalize the issue over the newly drawn trustee map. The last map that went before the board was not approved due to a number of issues raised by the trustees. At that meeting, they gave direction to Superintendent Jason Messer to find a new demographer and a lawyer and come up with a new map.

“We had the map but we couldn’t read the streets, we couldn’t tell where the schools were located,” Teicheira said.

The new map shows seven trustee areas instead of five. With elections coming up in November, the four whose terms are ending at the end of the year who plan to run for re-election, as well as other interested candidates, will need to know exactly the specific areas where they will have to focus on their campaigns.

The reason behind the redrawing of the trustees’ map is two-fold. In the first place, the district is mandated to look at its map every 10 years after the census is taken. The last time that happened was in 2003. The other reason, and the bigger one, is to help protect the district from being sued by advocacy and political groups. This issue has everything to do with the California Voting Rights Act of 2001 which makes it easier for minority groups to prove that their votes are being “diluted” in at-large elections, and to sue local governments and agencies such as school boards. Under the new redrawn map, trustees will be voted by area. This is already being in other school districts including Stockton Unified and Lincoln Unified in Stockton. Ripon Unified is also currently exploring this idea.

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