Staff praised for efforts during Monday storm

PASO ROBLES — Residents have started another petition for a special election for Paso Robles Joint Unified School District trustee Joel Peterson’s seat. Peterson ran unopposed for the Trustee Area 2 seat and was appointed to the position by San Luis Obispo County Clerk-Recorder Elaina Cano.

During public comment in the Tuesday, Jan. 10, PRJUSD meeting, residents expressed concerns that Peterson was illegally appointed to the seat. They stated that rather than Peterson being appointed to the seat, there should have been an option to write in a candidate on the ballot — the November 2022 General Election ballot did not have Trustee Area 2 for PRJUSD.

Resident Michael Rivera presented a petition to remove Peterson from his position as a trustee. He stated there are almost 130 signatures collected in less than one day since the collection of signatures began. 


Concerns first arose in October 2022 when trustees Dorian Baker and Frank Triggs discussed Peterson’s appointment. Cano told Paso Robles Press at the time that contestants had until 5 p.m. on Tuesday, Oct. 25, to file as a write-in candidate; however, that’s only if there were more candidates than there were seats (Vote for 1 but there was more than one candidate) — because Trustee Area 2 only had one seat and one candidate, the contest is not on the ballot, pursuant to Education Code 5326 and 5328.

Superintendent Curt Dubost responded to the concerns by saying, “Every member of the board sitting up here is sitting here having been legally elected to the board.”

At the end of the meeting, Peterson provided his own response to his appointment to the Trustee Area 2 seat. 

“I did file all correct paperwork to run for the school board election. I followed the law, I filed paperwork, I paid my registration fee,” said Peterson. “I ran unopposed for a school board position — I stepped up for my community because I was asked to by a lot of people in my community.”

You can find Paso Robles Press’s full article on that meeting and explanation of the codes here

The rest of the meeting was consumed with catching up with agenda items that were postponed from the Dec. 13, 2022, meeting. 

The approved items included various construction projects like elementary school picnic tables, a land lease agreement for a cell tower, a Pat Butler lunch shelter, and AV system installations.

Classes were canceled mid-morning on Monday throughout the district due to the storm Monday, Jan. 9, and and the subsequent flooding. Dubost and trustees praised staff at all district locations for their efforts in managing the quickly changing day. Class was back in regular session by Wednesday. 

“I would like to thank everybody who stepped up under difficult circumstances,” said Dubost. 

The next Paso Robles Joint Unified School District meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 23, at 5:30 p.m.