Voters “schooled” at school board forum


Trenton Kozel

A picture of the school board candidate forum, held in the OJHS gym on Monday, October 1st.

Orcutt voters have a little extra on their plate this November as there are going to be three open Orcutt Union School District board member positions. With this in mind, the Santa Maria branch of the League of Women Voters held a forum with all five board candidates last night, October 1, to help inform voters.


The public forum took place in the Orcutt Junior High School gym at 6:30 pm this past Monday. It was hosted by the League of Women Voters, an organization dedicated to registering voters and giving them unbiased, nonpartisan information. All five candidates (alphabetically: Laurel Ciervo, Shaun Henderson, Eric Melsheimer, Mark Steller, and Melanie Waffle) were present at the event and were given multiple opportunities to express their views and opinions. These included explaining their applicable experience and education, laying our their goals, and answering seven questions from the audience. All candidates had equal time to answer questions as to give them all the same platform to inform voters.


While each candidate had unique perspectives and opinions, a few topics seemed to be mentioned frequently: safety, “Measure G” funds, and the role of counseling in Orcutt schools. Each candidate shared different views on each of these, but were in agreement that these issues would important ones they would have to deal with if elected.


The floor was then turned the crowd as the League allowed them to write down questions to be asked to each candidate. The crowd consisted of lots of OUSD staff members, so the questions were focused on teacher salary, “Measure G”, and the budget.


All in all, having three school board members step down is significant, and the elections this year will be important. School board voting happens with normal voting this year on November 6th. To learn more about the board hopefuls, the Oracle conducted an e-mail survey of each of the candidates. Click here to read about how the five candidates responded.