LANCASTER – Westside Union School District trustees will discuss whether to change board policy to allow the appointment of a former board member who lost a recent election. Board member Gwen Farrell wants to appoint former trustee Christine LeBeau to fill the seat left vacant by the Jan. 2 resignation of Deborah Rutkowski-Hines. In the November election, LeBeau was the sole incumbent running but came in fourth in a race for three seats. The seats were won by newcomers John Curiel, Linda Jones and Joan Sodergren. LeBeau lost by 65 votes. “For me it makes sense. She has the experience and expertise and was next on the ballot. It would be nice to have someone else on board to have some years of experience,” said Farrell, who is serving her sixth term on the board. AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita Rutkowski-Hines, who was elected to the board in 2003, resigned from it Jan. 2, citing personal reasons. Board bylaws currently state vacancies be filled by a process of seeking applicants, interviewing them and making an appointment. A direct appointment of LeBeau would require a revision of the policy, Superintendent Regina Rossall said. Farrell suggested appointing LeBeau at a board meeting last Tuesday. Some fellow board members said they wanted to discuss the bylaws. “First of all we need to discuss the process by which to fill a vacancy. It’s premature to discuss a direct appointment,” Curiel said. “We don’t make unilateral decisions. We make decisions by board. We should keep in mind what the public wants.” “I really don’t have a comment. We will be discussing the whole process at the Jan. 17 meeting,” Jones said. Sodergren declined to comment. At the board meeting, Rossall said the board will have a general discussion about the different ways vacant seats are filled, which include calling an election, an outright appointment, or seeking applicants and making an appointment. Trustees also will look at current policy and discuss whether it should be amended, Rossall said. If the board does decide to change the policy, an appointment could be made at the meeting. Karen Maeshiro, (661) 267-5744 [email protected] 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!