At the Santa Monica-Malibu Unified School District board meeting Thursday, June 7th, the board is expected to address the resignation of five-year school board member Emily Bloomfield, whose last school board meeting will be Thursday, June 28th.
In February, Bloomfield announced that she would resign from the Santa Monica-Malibu school board in the summer because her husband, Byron Auguste, had accepted a job offer in Washington, D.C. and her family would be relocating.
Bloomfield — who said she is sad to leave Santa Monica and the district but also excited and supportive of her husband’s opportunity — has now officially announced her resignation and submitted a letter to the district, the city clerk and the Los Angeles County Office of Education, she said.
Bloomfield joined the board in 2002 and was reelected in last November’s election, in which she received the most votes of any school board candidate.
“I believe that Emily has been a very good member of the board and that her involvement will be greatly missed and hard to replace,” said Tim Walker, deputy superintendent for the district.
At the school board meeting on June 7th, with Bloomfield’s seat needing to be filled soon, the board will discuss Board Policy 9122, related to filling a seat vacancy once the actual date of resignation is identified, said district superintendent Dianne Talarico.
The vacancy will be filled by an appointment by the school board, but there are several ways the board could go about filling Bloomfield’s seat.
One option, in order to draw from the largest possible number of candidates, is for the board to advertise in local media to solicit applications.
Under this option, a committee consisting of less than four board members would ensure that applicants were eligible for membership and announce the names of the candidates, Talarico said.
The board would then interview the candidates at a public meeting, accept oral or written public input and select the appointee by a majority vote, Talarico said.
The board could also choose a different route and accept nominations for board membership at a public meeting and select the appointee from those nominees by a majority vote, Talarico said.
Bloomfield prefers the first option.
“It is the most transparent,” she said. “It broadcasts the position and invites applications, it allows for applicants to state their positions publicly on a number of issues, thus allowing people to understand where candidates stand. It also allows for public input before the board casts its final vote.”
Either way, Bloomfield feels that, with her departure, the district will be left in good hands.
“We have dedicated people on our board who bring different backgrounds and perspectives, but a truly shared passion and commitment to students,” she said. “This makes for a healthy discussion which advances the level of thinking and decision making.”