www.montereycountyweekly.com February 15-21, 2024 MONTEREY COUNTY WEEKLY 11 The trustees of the Hartnell Community College District Board were faced with filling a vacancy last fall after former chair Erica Padilla-Chavez resigned and moved out of the area. They could fill it by an election, maybe during the primary on March 5—possibly the least expensive election alternative—or they could save the cost and appoint someone to serve the rest of the term ending December 2026. The board chose the latter, and on Nov. 21, they selected a new trustee from three applicants. Weeks later the board discovered they’re on the hook for a pricier special election that could cost over $406,000. By law, registered voters of Area Six, represented by the vacant board seat that covers South County, had 30 days to request a special election. A group of voters took advantage of that law, and at the last minute, on Dec. 21, they presented a petition with 341 signatures to the Monterey County Office of Education. They needed 248 signatures out of nearly 17,000 registered voters to pass. In January the Monterey County Elections department verified 283 of the signatures, 35 more than what was needed. That meant that the board’s selection of Gonzales resident Sonia Jaramillo over two other applicants on Nov. 21 was nullified. She was interviewed during the meeting that night along with Carol Cordova Anderson and Soledad resident Monica Andrade. Jaramillo received four votes, Andrade received one. Trustee Ray Montemayor abstained, saying he believed the vacancy should be filled by special election. Jaramillo is a former president of the Gonzales Unified School District who works for the MCOE as a senior director of the Early Learning Program. Andrade is a member of the Soledad Committee for Voting Rights, which in November successfully won a referendum of a decision by the Soledad City Council to approve a five-district map and a rotating mayor over citizens’ objections. Andrade says she had nothing to do with the Hartnell petition, and has no idea who could be behind it. The petition lists five names as proponents— the Weekly was unable to contact four of the five, the fifth declined to speak. The petition only says that they, as registered voters of Area Six, want the Monterey County Superintendent of Schools to call a special election to fill the vacancy. At its meeting on Feb. 6, the Hartnell board voted 4-1—Trustee Margaret D’Arrigo voting no and Trustee Candi DePauw absent—to authorize a special election on June 4, 2024. The candidate filing period opened on Feb. 12 and runs through March 8. Both Andrade and Jaramillo say they are unsure whether they will run in the special election. Jaramillo, who is active in other community groups, is weighing her options. “My priority is the expansion of preschool services in Monterey County,” especially South County, Jaramillo says. By the People A Hartnell board appointment is scuttled by residents demanding a special election. By Pam Marino Sonia Jaramillo was sworn in on Nov. 21, 2023, after four members of the Hartnell College board of trustees voted to appoint her, filling an unexpired board vacancy. NEWS A special election could cost over $406,000. HARTNELL COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT “I brought my Subaru to Hartzel on advice of a friend and I was so pleased with the service & attention I got from them. Not only finished on time, but under the estimate I was given. Very rare these days. So pleased with the whole experience & great peace of mind knowing it was done correctly. Highly recommend this guy.” —David F., Seaside 2/14/19 510 California Avenue | Sand City | 394.6002 hartzelautomotive.com EXPERT SERVICE WHEN YOU NEED IT. Subaru Mazda Lexus Infiniti Saab vintage MG SCHEDULE YOUR NEXT SERVICE ONLINE TODAY Orbea Wild eMTB Pinkbike’s eMTB of the Year Open Tuesday ThrOugh saTurday In Downtown Santa Cruz – 585 Pacific Ave, Santa Cruz See website or phone for details • 831-621-2309 • www.currentebikes.com EvEry BikE includEs: • Free LiFetime tune-ups • proFessionaL assembLy • assistance with sizing & adjustments • discounts on accessories, racks, etc. • compLete post saLe service mention this ad For an additionaL $50 off any BIKE In stocK eLectric bicycLes carmel plaza • ocean ave & junipero st • 831.625.8106 carmel-by-the-sea, california • shop at khakisofcarmel.com italian coats sweaters outerwear shirts vests shoes & more New arrivals Featuring