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.