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    LB School Superintendent Steinhauser Says Staff Will Recommend School Board Declare Boardmember Jon Meyer Re-Elected; Meyer Has No Ballot Challenger; Move Would Save Money By Canceling Election...And Preclude Write-In Challenge

    (January 28, 2004) -- Long Beach School Superintendent Chris Steinhauser says LBUSD staff will recommend that LB School Board members cancel the 4th district LBUSD election and name incumbent Boardmember Jon Meyer elected in lieu of an election, using a state law that permits the option when there's no ballot challenger and no other election is scheduled in that district.

    We post verbatim below the Superintendent's statement on the issue, emailed to following our inquiry to LBUSD.

    If the LB School Board concurs with LBUSD staff, the move would cancel the 4th district School Board election, saving money while a precluding a write-in challenge.

    As previously reported by, on January 26 LB Councilmembers (with four absences) declined to cancel the 2d Council district election, even though Council incumbent Dan Baker also has no ballot opponent. On a 3-2 vote (Yes: Carroll, Colonna, Lerch; No: Lowenthal, Kell; remainder absent), some Councilmembers cited Mayor Beverly O'Neill's 2002 write-in victory for moving ahead with the Council district election although City Hall (like LBUSD) confronts budgetary red ink.

    In the 2d district Council race, challenger Sonny Bozeman (who had some of his nominating petition signatures disqualified, preventing his name from being printed on the ballot) has said he plans to run a write-in campaign against Baker.

    In the 4th district LBUSD race, southeast LB area voters chose Meyer by a large margin in early 2003 over six other candidates who sought to fill the remainder of the late Ed Eveland's term of office. Less than a year later, none of those candidates filed to challenge Meyer. (Another potential challenger surfaced...but his name won't be printed on the ballot either.) As we post, we are unaware of any challenger seeking to mount a write-in challenge to Meyer, whose new term of office if reelected would continue to 2008.

    If the School Board cancels the 4th district School Board election, the race for 2d district LB School Board between business owner W. Mack Tyson and College Dean Felton C. Williams would continue as scheduled.

    LB School Superintendent Steinhauser's statement follows:

    [begin text]

    A decisive school board election was held only seven months ago. The will of the people was clear. Jon Meyer won by a landslide, outpolling each of six other candidates by more than a two-to-one margin. The staff will recommend that the election be cancelled since he would be the only candidate on the ballot. The savings by not holding back-to-back elections a few months apart would pay the salary and benefits for a new teacher. We'd prefer to see it used that way, and we believe most taxpayers would, too.

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