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Wednesday, July 23, 2008
OUSD's Lissa Smith moves to run in Wes Poutsma's Trustee Area
eLECTION Watch 2008
an Orange Net News Special News and Analysis Series
OUSD TRUSTEE LISSA SMITH
MOVES TO RUN FOR WES POUSTMA’S SEAT
Orange Unified Trustee Melissa “Lissa” Smith pulled papers to run in OUSD Trustee Area Three, currently occupied by OUSD Board Chairman Wes Poutsma. Smith was re-elected two years ago to a four year OUSD Trustee term in OUSD Trustee Area One. Her current term runs until 2010. However in the recent Nichols Realignment of the OUSD Trustee Areas, Smiths’ house was moved from Trustee Area 1 to Trustee Area 3 currently represented by Wes Poutsma. The controversial realignment of the OUSD Trustee Areas was more famous for removing OUSD Trustee Steve Rocco’s house from OUSD Trustee Area 6 to OUSD Trustee Rick Ledesma’s Area 7, thus effectively blocking Rocco from a re-election bid this year as an incumbent. The Nichols Realignment was instigated by OUSD Trustee Kim Nichols and came on the heels of an unsuccessful recall attempt against Rocco. Nichols, her family members, and close friends were intimately involved in the failed Rocco Recall Committee effort.
Smith has been a long-time vocal advocate of trying to pass a Facilities Bond in OUSD and could not hide her joy at a recent OUSD Board meeting when fiscal conservative members of the Villa Park community joined in the call for a Facilities Bond if it would also save the oldest historical buildings in Villa Park at Villa Park Elementary School. Smith’s move to run in Area 3 in November seems to confirm rumors that the third attempt at a Facilities Bond (which must be approved at the OUSD August 2008 meeting for the November ballot) is a no go. Unconfirmed reports have the story played out that bad numbers on recent polling by Lewis Consulting shows weak community support during the current economic turn down, however the only poll that counts maybe the one on the OUSD Board that has some longtime community Board watchers saying support on the Board may be coming up too short for a Facilities Bond to go to the voters. Whatever the real story behind a bond not making it on the November Ballot, local OUSD political annalists see it unlikely that Smith would have made a move for an unneeded election run during a Facilities Bond campaign.
Smith, who has two years left on her current trustee term has little to lose in the attempt to be elected in Poutsma’s area. If she lost, she remains on the OUSD Board for two more years. If she wins, she extends her term on the OUSD Board until 2012. Rumors have been circulating that Poutsma had decided not to run for another term. As of July 23rd when Smith pulled papers, Poutsma still had not pulled papers to run. Another often mentioned candidate for the Area Three is Alexia Deligianni. A member of the Educational Alliance, Deligianni has made one unsuccessful election try in OUSD in 2006.
OUSD Trustees must live in the Trustee Area they represent, but are elected district wide.
eLECTION Watch 2008
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