By: Orange County Supervisor Todd Spitzer (Photo courtesy of Irvine Unified School District)
Voters in the Irvine Unified School District will face a special election that will be consolidated with the Tuesday, June 3, primary election. This special election will fill a seat on the Irvine School Board for less than six months. The Irvine Unified School District covers most of Irvine and small portions of Tustin.
Irvine School Board Member Gavin Huntley-Fenner resigned effective on November 21, 2013. At that point, the Irvine School Board voted to appoint Ira Glasky to fill the vacancy, with one year remaining on Huntley-Fenner’s term. The next regularly scheduled election for the seat was set for November 4, 2014.
Under State Education Code Section 5091, the appointment can be terminated and replaced with a special election with the signatures of 1.5% of registered voters in the district if the signatures are submitted within 30 days of the appointment. A petition was submitted to the County Department of Education on December 23.
On Thursday, the Registrar of Voters verified that 1,798 signatures (1.6% of all Irvine Unified registered voters) were valid out of 2,579 submitted. 781 signatures, or 30.3%, were found to be invalid. Consequently, Glasky’s appointment to the Board of Education has been rescinded and a special election will be held on June 3. The winner of the June special election will hold the seat for less than six months. After the June special election, the regular election for the same seat will be held on November 4.
The last time this type of special election was held in Orange County was in February 2008 in the Anaheim Union High School District. After the death of Denise Mansfield-Reinking in 2007, the Anaheim Union High School Board appointed Harald Martin to fill the vacancy. A petition terminated Martin’s appointment, and the February 2008 special election was won by Jordan Brandman. The Anaheim Union High School District lies mostly in the Fourth Supervisorial District but does include small portions of the Third Supervisorial District that are west of the Santa Ana River and south of Lincoln Avenue in Anaheim.