Davis school board race underway, Thomson won’t seek re-election to county board

By From page A1 | July 15, 2012

The candidacy filing period begins Monday for two seats on the Davis school board, and one seat on the Yolo County Board of Education, to be determined in the Nov. 6 general election.

The two seats on the Davis school board have been held for the past five years by incumbents Susan Lovenburg and Richard Harris, both of whom were first elected in November 2007. Lovenburg has indicated that she will seek a second term; Harris has announced that he will not run again, and will instead put his energy into supporting the campaign for a November parcel tax measure that was proposed by the Davis school board.

Another candidate has declared her intention to run for the Davis school board — Nancy Peterson, who has been active with the Davis High School Blue & White Foundation, the Davis Bridge Foundation, PTA groups and other portions of the school district.

The other local seat at stake in the November election is held by longtime incumbent Joseph Thomson. He has been representing Trustee Area 4 on the Yolo County Board of Education since 1998. Trustee Area 4 covers portions of North Davis (east of Highway 113 and north of Covell Boulevard), most of East Davis and all of South Davis, as well as a swath of land to the east of Mace Boulevard to the south of town — roughly following the boundaries of Yolo County’s Fourth Supervisorial District.

Thomson, who is a retired education consultant, told The Enterprise that “I’ve been on the county Board of Education for 14 years, and that’s long enough. It’s time for a new person in there.”

Ordinarily, prospective Davis school board and Yolo County Board of Education candidates would have until Aug. 10 to file papers with the Yolo County Elections Department, 625 Court St., Room B-05, Woodland. However, with incumbents Harris and Thomson not running for re-election, the candidacy filing period for seats on both boards will automatically be extended to Aug. 15. There is no filing fee for candidates, but they must each gather at least 20 signatures from valid registered voters to complete their nomination paperwork.

The November ballot also will include several issues with a substantial impact on local education. At the statewide level, California voters will be considering Proposition 30 (Gov. Brown’s “Temporary Taxes to Fund Education” initiative) and Proposition 38 (activist Molly Munger’s “Tax for Education and Early Childhood Programs” initiative).

Locally, Davis-area voters will be considering a proposed local parcel tax, which has yet to receive an official ballot designation from the Yolo County Elections Department. The local parcel tax proposal would cover a period of four years (starting in July 2013), charging $204 per single-family home per year (an extension of soon-to-expire Measure A), plus the option of charging up to another $242 per single-family home per year in the event that both Propositions 30 and 38 are not approved by California voters.

The past few years have been a tough time to serve on either the Davis school board or the Yolo County Board of Education, as both agencies have absorbed repeated, substantial cuts in funding from the state, and have trimmed their staffing and programs.

Jeff Hudson

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