Chad Robert­son and Dawn Meek look to have locked down those seats on the Lu­cia Mar School Board. Vern Dahl also won.

Paso Robles res­i­dents ap­pear to have ousted most of their in­cum­bent school board can­di­dates, based on elec­tion re­sults from the County ClerkRecorder’s Of­fice.

As of Fri­day evening, re­tired lawyer and new­comer Christo­pher Arend led the can­di­dates for one of the four-year seats on the board with 22.3 per­cent of the vote. (Four seats were up for elec­tion in the Paso Robles school district this year, three with four-year terms and one with a two-year term.)

He was fol­lowed by Tim Gearhart with 18.7 per­cent. Based on his lead, Gearhart, a re­tired teacher, ap­peared to be the lone in­cum­bent guar­an­teed his seat back.

Tied neck-and-neck for that fi­nal four-year seat were new­comer Lance Gan­non and in­cum­bent Matthew McClish, with 16.82 per­cent and 16.03 per­cent, re­spec­tively.

Cur­rent trustee Field Gib­son, a busi­ness in­sur­ance bro­ker and risk man­ager, brought in only 14.2 per­cent of the early re­turns, mak­ing it likely he will not be re­turn­ing to the board.

Mean­while in­cum­bent Kath­leen Yan­kee Hall was solidly de­feated for her two-year term on the board by school teacher Stephanie Ulibarri. As of Fri­day evening, Ulibarri had locked down 73.6 per­cent of the vote com­pared with Hall’s 26.3 per­cent.

(It’s im­por­tant to note that the num­bers are sub­ject to change as the County Clerk-Recorder fin­ishes tal­ly­ing the re­main­ing mail-in and con­di­tional bal­lots. This could take an­other week.)

The in­cum­bents’ ap­par­ent oust­ing from of­fice comes on the heels of a se­ries of bud­get­ing er­rors that cut the district’s

re­serves to less than one per­cent.

In a sur­vey for The Tri­bune prior to the elec­tion, Gearhart, Gan­non and Ulibarri all noted the im­por­tance of im­prov­ing the district’s fis­cal stand­ing as part of their rea­sons for run­ning.

“I want to run for school board be­cause the com­mu­nity and many of the teach­ers in the PRJUSD have voiced a need for change on our school board,” Ulibarri wrote in her re­sponse. “The fol­low­ing are a few of the many con­cerns: a bud­get re­serve that has fallen well be­low the re­quired 3 per­cent; up­com­ing col­lec­tive bar­gain­ing in the midst of a bud­get cri­sis; teach­ers and com­mu­nity mem­bers who are hop­ing to find the board mem­bers more ac­ces­si­ble in the fu­ture.”

Gearhart wrote, “Have no doubt, the district WILL re­pair and im­prove our fis­cal chal­lenges while con­tin­u­ing our stu­dents’ ex­cel­lent ed­u­ca­tional pro­grams.”

Kaytlyn Leslie: 805-781-7928, @kaytyleslie

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