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SJUSD board to consider special election to fill Miller’s seat

File photo, San Juan Unified School District board members, from left to right. Top: Saul Hernandez, Tanya Kravchuk, Paula Villescaz. Bottom: Ben Avey, Zima Creason, Steve Miller, Pam Costa. // Images:

Updated March 30, 4:18 p.m.–
Sentinel staff report– An emergency meeting will take place this Friday to decide whether a special election will be held to fill the vacant school board seat left by Steve Miller, who passed away unexpectedly on March 25.

The meeting was announced during the board’s regular meeting on March 28, with the district later posting on its website that the meeting will be held at 4 p.m. on March 31 at the San Juan Unified School District’s Office at 3738 Walnut Ave., in Carmichael.

District Trustee Ben Avey also posted an update on Wednesday announcing the meeting and requesting input from constituents. The board will decide between two options: holding a special election or appointing a replacement trustee.

District spokeswoman Raj Rai said in an email to The Sentinel on Thursday that the replacement process must be completed within a 60-day timeline.

An agenda packet posted Thursday afternoon on the district’s website includes a staff report stating that the estimated cost to be paid by the district to the Sacramento County Elections Office would be $154,842 for a special election. Alternatively, a provisional appointment process would have “no direct cost to the district outside of advertising,” the report says.

Miller won election to the newly created Area 7 seat in November last year, following his 17 years of service as a Citrus Heights City Council member. The Area 7 seat represents most of Citrus Heights, giving area residents a voice on the school board.

If a special election is held, the candidate with the most votes would serve through the completion of Miller’s term, which would have been through November 2026. However, the board’s staff report says if the appointment process is chosen, the appointed member would only serve through November 2024, at which point the seat would be place on the ballot.

Members of the public wishing to contact board members in advance of the meeting can email all members through the email address:

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