Voters in the Coast Unified School District have overwhelmingly returned incumbent Del Clegg to the Board of Trustees, with 2,060 votes, or 44.53 percent of ballots tallied by late Election Night.
However, with 100 percent of votes counted, fewer than 100 votes separate the results for two candidates seeking to fill a seat to be vacated in December by retiring Trustee Dianne Brooke.
Candidates Lesli Murdoch of Cambria and Michael Foster of Cayucos received 1,286 and 1,191 votes respectively (27.80 and 25.75 percent of the votes).
While Murdoch has the lead, the ultimate winner may not be decided until all outstanding ballots are tallied in a laborious and time-consuming process done mostly by hand, which includes the count of provisional and late-arriving absentee ballots.
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As of early Wednesday, Nov. 5, it wasn’t known how many of those remained to be counted in the CUSD race. Countywide, Clerk-Recorder Julie Rodewald said, roughly 20,000 absentee and 2,600 provisional ballots remained. She said she hopes the vast majority of the mail-ins will bee tallied by Friday. Provisional ballots will be counted the following week.
The two winners and the other three trustees — Cindy Fratto, Sue Nash and Judith Hillen — will have a lot on their plates.
There’s plenty to accomplish as the district continues clawing its way up out of the fiscal red after the overwhelming recession and cutbacks in state funding.
New district Superintendent Vicki Schumacher (who took over in July as the district’s third leader since 2013) says issues facing the district include maintaining fiscal health with an annual budget of more than $10 million, focusing on professional learning to support teachers in implementing the complex Common Core State Standards, emphasizing student achievement, approving a multiyear technology plan and improving district facilities, such as the rutted, weed-choked middle school playfield.
According to Schumacher, the district serves slightly more than 700 students, with an average class size of 15.