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Friday, April 12, 2024
Milpitas Unified School DistrictA special election for MUSD board seat could cost thousands

A special election for MUSD board seat could cost thousands

At the August 13 Board meeting, the Milpitas Unified School District (MUSD) Board of Education appointed Hai Minh Ngo to fill the vacant seat left by the resignation of board member Daniel Bobay. Ngo, a member of the Milpitas Community Board Advisory Council (CBAC), as well as the Rose Elementary Parent-Teacher Organization (PTO), was appointed to the board after nearly five hours of deliberation.

But Ngo’s appointment hasn’t been without controversy, and there have been stirs about a community petition for a special election to fill the seat instead. 

That of course, would come at a cost.

According to state law, a special election can be triggered by a petition with signatures equal to 1.5 percent of the total registered voters at the time of the most recent school board election. That means such a petition would need at least 531 signatures.

Special elections also have to take into account moving parts like volunteers, polling stations, and certification by the Registrar of Voters (ROV). According to the ROV, a special election for the board seat would come in at $105,000 at a minimum. 

According to some reports, a similar election in 2012 for proposed school bonds cost the city an estimated $98,000.

Should a special election petition succeed, the election would happen during the March primaries. 

The winner would serve from March until the regular election for the seat in November, 2020.

Barring a special election, Ngo will serve out the rest of Bobay’s four-year term, which expires in December, 2020. The seat, along with Vice President Hon Lien’s seat, will be up for grabs come next November.

At tonight’s 7pm MUSD board meeting, a group known as Better Milpitas plans to protest the nomination results; they’ve also been reaching out to community members and asking for anyone who’s interested to sign their petition demanding a special election. 

The deadline to submit such a petition is coming up on September 12.






Lloyd Alaban
Lloyd Alaban
Lloyd Alaban is a reporter who has lived in Milpitas his entire life. He has a BA in Sociology from UC Santa Cruz and an MS in Journalism & Mass Communications from San Jose State University. He has written for publications such as AsianWeek, realtor.com, Work+Money, SpareFoot, Uni Watch and San Jose Inside. Lloyd has covered numerous issues, including local businesses, protests, affordable housing policy, homelessness and city government. He is passionate about local news and its ability to shed light on underprivileged communities. In his spare time, he likes playing anything that has to do with trivia (especially watching Jeopardy!), running, drinking beer, reading, and playing with his Siberian Husky.


  1. Not to mention once petition signers are validated and a date set for this election whomever wins will have to run again in 2020. I hope that whatever happens someone with a heart for the schools puts im.maximum effort to win that seat.

  2. Hai Minh Ngo Must go to avoid a special
    Election. He is not as qualified as Ling otherwise there won’t be so many argument! Last night so many people stand up for the the right thing: which is basic fair and rule! Like a competition, u can’t change rule at the spot to obviously biased on someone and treat other excellent candidate with no “Just”. This is not milpitas made for. Milpitas has lots of new residents and many excellent people, the rule need to be followed so everybody has a fair chance. Perticular in school system, if someone can treat an adult like this, how the parents can ensure their precious kids won’t be treated this way? !

  3. Don’t misleading by cost. If MUSD be fair at the appointment. No one borther to put so many efforts fot this. We all have work and life to live. But you don’t get to fool average residents. Don’t play games. Can you decide rules, break the rules, claim you are right and call people waste money?After you bully Ling then Michael now all the resident? Even at Sep 10 meeting, the Board show no attampt to take the responsibility to face and fix their unfair appoitment procudure. Board leave people no choice. Why they don‘t listen?Trying so hard to silence Michael Tsai and Milpitas residents. Arrange PTA to speak for Board at the meeting?WOW the guys are so powerful. How about save the money by giving back the stolen seat?

  4. Election can be avoid by give back the seat to the winner. I am sure both candidates are qualified and had the best intention, but process is a process, score is a score, changing rules in the middle to just favor one person over the other sounds very fishy.


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