Seats on one-room schoolhouses, services districts up for election

07/20/2017

Seats on West Marin’s one-room schoolhouses and community services districts will be up for grabs in this November’s local election. Both Lincoln School in Hicks Valley and Laguna School in Chileno Valley have two board seats opening, while the Muir Beach and Tomales Community Services Districts both have three open seats. Hicks Valley beef rancher Sam Dolcini attended Lincoln as a child and has served on the board since 2002; he and two of his fellow board members—Janeen Corda Brady and James Grossi, Jr.—plan to remain, he said. (The K-6 school recently merged with Marin’s other historic one-room schoolhouse, nearby Union School, south of Petaluma, which was on the verge of closing because of too few students.) At Laguna School, which also serves kindergarteners through six graders, trustee Jim Lanatti plans to run for his open seat while Daniel Hess is unsure, but “leaning toward it.” Last year, the school hired new teachers and Mr. Hess said he was glad they’re returning again this year. “As with all small schools, the big issue is making it work with a small budget,” he said. The Muir Beach Community Services District will lose board director Paul Jeschke at the end of the year. “It was a great experience,” he said. “I think we’ve gotten a lot of things done, but I think it’s somebody else’s turn now.” Mr. Jeschke said that during his four-year term, the board made improvements to the community center and developed new trails. Trustee Peter Lambert said he hasn’t yet decided yet if he will run for a third term and Lynda Grose could not be reached for comment. In Tomales, all three directors whose seats are up have decided to run again: Bill Bonini, Deborah Parrish and board president Dru Fallon O’Neill. Looking ahead, Ms. O’Neill said the board is searching for contractors for numerous projects at the community park and hoping to build reserves for capital improvements. “Through enormous efforts of previous boards and our active ad hoc committee, the budget has been trimmed,” she said. “Our efforts will be guided by strengthening the district financially and physically as we move forward.” The nomination period began this week and runs until Aug. 11 at 5 p.m., with an extension to Aug. 16 if an incumbent officeholder does not file. Candidates must be registered voters in the school or special services district, and cannot be employees of the school. Applications can be submitted in person at the elections department at the Civic Center or online by visiting marincounty.org/depts./rv and clicking on “Election Information” and then “Election Schedule.”