County Postpones Decision on Sagebrush Transfer Voting Area

Attendees listen at Wednesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization.
Photo by Wes Woods II / OUTLOOK
Attendees listen at Wednesday’s meeting of the Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization.

The Los Angeles County Committee on School District Organization on Wednesday decided to postpone a decision regarding the potential voting area for the Sagebrush transfer issue to a future meeting, without confirming when that might take place.
Meanwhile, an attorney for the Glendale Unified School District said the district filed an appeal on Oct. 31 of the committee’s decision to transfer the Sagebrush portion of GUSD’s territory to the La Cañada Unified School District.
The committee voted 6-3 to transfer the Sagebrush area during its Oct. 1 meeting in Downey. However, the committee said at that time it could decide for a vote among residents of Sagebrush and both the GUSD and LCUSD during a general election, but the precise area involved in that possible vote needs to be determined.
GUSD attorney Stan Barankiewicz confirmed that the district is appealing the Oct. 1 decision, and said it plans to file a statement of reasons and factual evidence for its appeal by Nov. 14; the statement would be filed with the State Board of Education. Additionally, the district also filed a lawsuit over the California Environmental Quality Act study used as evidence in support of the Sagebrush transfer, GUSD officials said.
Sagebrush is located in the western part of La Cañada Flintridge but has historically been a part of the GUSD.
Before deciding Wednesday to continue the item, committee member A.J. Willmer asked staff members for more information about the districts to help the panel make a decision at an upcoming meeting. His request came during a discussion of a potential voting area that might include the Sagebrush, LCUSD and Crescenta Valley High School areas.
“Just get us the voting history of La Cañada and Glendale by precinct and we can work out how to use the information,” Willmer said. “We can choose what we wish … we can choose what information to bring in.”
Committee members attempted twice on Wednesday to create potential voting areas but failed to resolve the issue. The first try concerned whether to allow only the Sagebrush petition area to decide on the matter, but the motion was defeated 4-3. Willmer introduced the motion but said he was not in favor of it and voted against it because he believed the area should also include LCUSD.
The second voting area was proposed in a motion by committee member Cherise Moore, who also voted against the Sagebrush petition area. She suggested both GUSD and LCUSD be included in the voting area, but no board members would second her motion. A similar potential voting area was voted down in the previous meeting on Oct. 1.
Patrick Saldana, the committee’s deputy general counsel, told board members during the meeting he believes the GUSD appeal had been filed too quickly and the district should have waited for the committee to rule on the voting district area. He did not address the lawsuit.

Leave a Reply