Fri04252014

Schools

Perennial civic activist fills spot on LASD board

The Los Altos School District trustees last week selected Kristine Salmon to fill the spot on the board vacated when Phillip Faillace was elected the Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District.

Salmon, 44, who has a strong resume of schools and civic involvement, was chosen among 12 candidates. A former Almond and Egan school parent and volunteer, Salmon had two children in district schools. She co-chaired the Measure A parcel tax campaign in 1993, which received overwhelming approval of the voters. Another proposed $96 parcel tax increase, set to come before voters June 3, would raise the tax to $264 per parcel beginning July 1. The proposal needs a two-thirds majority vote to pass.

Among other endeavors, Salmon was on the Los Altos planning commission 1987-91, served as president of the local PTA council 1990-92 and co-chaired the "Vision 21" library campaign last summer.

Superintendent Marge Gratiot said Salmon's experience on the planning commission could benefit on such issues as enrollment growth and developer fees.

"I'm very excited to have her on the board," Gratiot said.

Salmon said she joins the board, to fill the 10 months left on Faillace's term, at "a difficult, but exciting time," a reference to the parcel tax increase.

The 13-year Los Altos resident said board members probably gave her the edge because of the extent of her schools experience.

"They needed somebody who didn't have to have a lot of education or training (about schools issues)," Salmon said. "I really wanted to help out."

Board president Gerri Carlton applauded the selection of Salmon to the board.

"We were really pleased with the quality of people, but she was selected because she has some unique qualifications for some of our upcoming challenges," Carlton said, "such as passing parcel tax and working with city on developing plans for St. William (site on Rosita Avenue which the city agreed to purchase last year for recreational use)."

Carlton said she hoped those who applied re-apply again for the November election, when there may be at least more open board seats. She said trustee John Moss and herself are not planning on running for re-election.

"We hope (those who applied) take the next nine or 10 months to familiarize themselves with the district," Carlton said.

Salmon is scheduled to be sworn in at the district's Feb. 3 meeting.

FIELDS COMMITTEE: The board last week approved the formation of a district committee to review issues regarding use of school playing fields. The board agreed with a staff recommendation that the committee review uses at all fields, following concerns brought by neighbors at Oak School.

Randy Kenyon, assistant superintendent in charge of business services, suggested the committee be made up of himself, Bob Rayl of the city's Parks and Recreation Department and a representative from each of the major field users, such as Little League or soccer groups. Kenyon recommended the committee report back to the board with their conclusions by mid-February.

Oak neighbors, in a Nov. 18, 1996 memo to the board, suggested the board develop guidelines regarding appropriate usage, limitations on hours and restrictions on lighting and sound systems.

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