Local School Board Has One Member Who Won’t Leave

Written by on January 5, 2021

Oscar de la Torre still sit on the Santa Moncia Malibu school board??

He claims he does.

The rest of the school board says he’s gone.

De la Torre was elected to a seat on the Santa Monica City Council last November.

But his term on the school board was thru 2022.

Or is thru 2022 … in his opinion.

The California elections law prohibits a person from serving on two elected bodies if they have any substantive dealings with each other … and the City of Santa Monica has numerous contracts and agreements between it and the school district.

De la Torre argues elsewise … and he cites other snippets of the election code to claim that he is still a school board member until he resigns.

The school board has already asked Santa Monica and Malibu residents who wants to be appointed to fill out the two year term.

Completed applications were due by December 17th.

A citizens commission was appointed to review the names … and three seated board members will inform the Superintendent’s Office which applicants meet the eligibility criteria.

The Superintendent will invite applicants to a public interview by the other school board members … at the regularly scheduled board meeting on January 14, 2021.

de la Torre … as we’ve reported… is not ;leaving quietly.

He says the school board cannot declare a vacancy or unilaterally exclude him from the office to which the voters elected me.

The whole matter may go to the courts.

But the school district’s efforts to do that fouled up … when the school board scheduled a secret meeting just after Christmas … as reporters pointed out any vote had to be conducted in public.

De la Torre says … and we quote  from a letter to the editor in the Santa Monica Lookout newspaper:

Much has been made of whether the City Council and School Board are “incompatible offices,” but that misses the point. They may very well be incompatible, though there is no precedential legal authority one way or the other.

Unless and until that process is completed, or I deliver a resignation letter, there is no vacancy on the School Board, pursuant to Government Code section 1770.”

No word as of this morning from the school board … but late today (Tuesday) the majority issued a statement that strongly disagrees with the guy who sat with them for a decade and a half.

We’ll have that story tomorrow.

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