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Ripon voters elect trustees by area in 2016
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Voters in Ripon Unified will have a new way of selecting their school board representatives.

Last week, 1,700 or 54 percent came out in favor of Measure H, in turn, changing the election process.

“In 2016, voters will elect their (school board) candidates by and from the Trustee Area in which they represent,” Trustee Christopher ‘Kit’ Oase said at Tuesday’s RUSD board meeting.

This year, he didn’t have to worry about a re-election campaign.

Nor did fellow board member Ernie Tyhurst and newcomer Chad Huskey, for that matter.

Instead, all three will appointed to represent their respective Trustee Area come next month.

But if Oase, Tyhurst and Huskey had been opposed during recently completed general election, they would have been the last to be selected via at large or block voting.

Huskey, incidentally, will take over from board President Donna Parks in Area 1.

Oase and Tyhurst, who respectively represent Area 3 and Area 2, helped worked on reworking the nominating area lines a few years ago, using data from 2010 U.S. Census Bureau.

The Trustee Areas were redrawn out of necessity and with a goal of the “one person, one vote” ruling of the U.S. Supreme Court from 40 years ago.

Here, each trustee represents roughly 3,472 people. They’re also being counted on to vote for just the one candidate representing their area in the coming years.

Trustees gave voters the choice on this process by placing the state Department of Education–approved plan on ballot. “We wanted them to have their choice on the process,” said Oase.

He added that the Trustee Area map will more than likely change by 2022 based on growth in the area.

“(RUSD) would have to use data from the 2020 U.S. Census,” Oase said.