Lucia Mar school board to add newcomers Robertson, Meagher

clambert@thetribunenews.comNovember 6, 2012 

Two newcomers — Chad Robertson and Vicki Meagher — won seats Tuesday on the Lucia Mar Unified School District board with all precincts reporting.

The two new board members will help the district tackle budget issues in the year ahead.

South County voters considered seven candidates in two trustee areas: one covering Nipomo, the other encompassing Arroyo Grande and Huasna.

Robertson is a general contractor and also works as a paramedic supervisor for San Luis Ambulance.

Meagher taught 38 years in the Lucia Mar district and retired in June 2010.

They’ll have to quickly come up to speed on the district’s finances, as the budget is the top issue the board will face in the upcoming year.

The depth of future cuts depends in part on whether Proposition 30 — a California ballot measure that aimed to protect education funding — passed Tuesday. Early results showed the measure narrowly failing.

Administrators of San Luis Obispo County’s largest public school district have planned ahead, setting aside about $4.6 million to use in the current school year should the initative fail.

But the district could face another multimillion dollar cut in the 2013-14 school year if it doesn’t pass, and that could lead to painful discussions about ways to cut costs, Lucia Mar Superintendent Jim Hogeboom said in October.

The school board will face other challenges, such as deciding how to move forward on district goals with limited resources.

An election was not held for the trustee area covering Grover Beach, Pismo Beach and Shell Beach because incumbents Erik Howell and Dee Santos both filed to run again.

Howell also ran for a seat on the Pismo Beach City Council. Should he win there — which appeared likely — he said he’ll resign from the school board and a replacement would be appointed.

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