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SDUHSD moves forward with election changes

ENCINITAS — While most of the attention on the reluctant transition to district elections has been on cities, school districts have also faced similar decisions.

The region’s largest high school district, San Dieguito Union, has moved swiftly to make the transition to district-based election, even though it was not one of the jurisdictions threatened with legal action by the Malibu-based law firm responsible for most of the recent decisions.

The school district on Sept. 27 preemptively entered the 90-day “safe harbor” — which gives an agency three months to make the change without being sued — to avoid the legal threat that has ensnared nearby jurisdictions, such as Encinitas, Carlsbad and Oceanside.

“Our school district would not have pursued this path if we had not felt threatened by the possibility of receiving a letter from Attorney Kevin Shenkman threatening a lawsuit, as several of our neighboring districts already have,” board member Beth Hergesheimer said.

“I believe we will be able to make this process work, but I am unaware of any prior or existing issues regarding whether board members have been adequately representative of the diversity within our communities,” she said.

So far, the district has held three meetings in the process, with three more scheduled for Nov. 16, Nov. 28 and Dec. 14. The district is scheduled to release the draft district maps this week.

As of this week, there hasn’t been a lot of public input on the district plans, Hergesheimer said.

“To date we have had very little public response, but we expect that once the maps are available we will see more input from the public,” she said.

Once created, proposed maps will be posted on the district’s website at