Fresno Unified special election sought for McLane-area seat

The Fresno BeeDecember 6, 2012 

A group of 15 teachers, parents and students plan to file a petition Friday seeking a Fresno Unified special election for the McLane High trustee seat.

Last month, Fresno Unified trustees appointed Christopher De La Cerda as the McLane High area trustee. He's scheduled to serve until 2014.

De La Cerda's appointment came over the objections of elementary teacher Mai Summer Vue and Eva Ruiz, president of the Fresno Teachers Association, who lobbied for a special election.

The district's legal counsel, Mary Beth de Goede, said at the time that a special election would cost about $125,000 and could not occur sooner than 130 days from the Nov. 7 board meeting. That would have meant at least several more months of no representation for the McLane High area. Tony Vang resigned the seat in September after a months-long controversy over whether he lived in the area.

On Thursday evening, Vue said the group had collected 529 signatures -- well above the 304 that the group's attorney said was needed.

It didn't take long to collect them either, Vue said -- the group started walking precincts in the McLane area last Saturday and Sunday. The petitions will be filed with the Fresno County Office of Education, she said.

Vue said she helped organize the petition drive because McLane area residents deserve the right to elect their representative.

"Every voter who we talked to has signed the petition. This is loud and clear that the people want the special election," she said.

Ruiz said she and the FTA were not involved in the petition drive.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6165, or @anhelllll on Twitter.

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