LANCASTER — Antelope Valley Union High School District Board President Robert “Bob” Davis resigned, effective Monday, breaking up a divisive Board majority — along with Vice President Victoria Ruffin and Clerk Amanda Parrell — whose litany of controversial 3-2 votes over the past 11 months dampened employee morale and led to an unsuccessful recall attempt.
District Superintendent David Vierra announced Davis’ resignation in an email to all District employees Thursday morning.
“We wish Mr. Davis well in his new endeavors,” Vierra wrote.
District staff and counsel are reviewing all legal obligations regarding filing Davis’ vacancy. The Board will discuss its options at the next general meeting, scheduled for 7 p.m. Thursday at the District office, 44811 North Sierra Highway.
“Leadership transitions can be challenging for organizations; however, I know that many people in our school community care deeply about our mission to serve students and to create supportive and collaborative working environments for our dedicated staff members,” Vierra wrote. “Whether the Board decides to hold a special election or appoint someone to this important position, I trust that this position will be filled by someone who truly has a desire to serve our students, our District, and our Community.”
Davis resigned “due to personal and family reasons,” he wrote in response to an email query from the Antelope Valley Press, quoting a passage from his resignation letter.
Davis said his effective resignation date was Oct. 30.
However, the Nov. 4 date reflects when Davis’ resignation was filed with the Los Angeles County Office of Education. A LACOE spokesperson confirmed the office received the letter on Nov. 4.
Davis was elected in November 2015. His seat expires in November 2020. Davis and trustee Jill McGrady each got a fifth year added to their terms after the Board voted to consolidate its biennial elections with a statewide primary or general election in even-numbered years as part of a state law intended to increase voter turnout.
Under state law, the Board has 60 days from the date of Davis’ resignation to fill Davis’ seat. They can either make a provisional appointment, or call a special election. If the Board does nothing, the Los Angeles County Office of Education will order a special election. Either way, the provisional appointee or candidate must be a registered voter who lives within the boundaries of Trustee Area No. 3, the area Davis represented.
It appears time is not on the Board’s side for a potential election for Trustee Area No. 3 to be consolidated with the March 3 Presidential Primary election ballot. That is because the Board would have to convene, adopt and submit a resolution prior to Tuesday, which is the start of the commencement of the nomination period for candidates, Julane Whalen, a spokesperson for the Los Angeles County Registrar-Recorder/County Clerk’s office said in an email response.
Since Monday is Veterans Day and the county office will be closed, that means the Board would have had to call for an emergency meeting today. As of 5 p.m. Thursday no such meeting was scheduled.
“If the path selected to fill the vacancy is indeed via special election, the vacancy election would have to take place later in 2020,” Whalen wrote.