Final count will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3
PASO ROBLES — On Friday afternoon, San Luis Obispo County Clerk Recorder Elaina Cano released an update to the Special Election for Paso Robles Joint Unified School District.
Candidate Kenney Enney (54.32 percent or 6,476 votes) remains in the lead of the race against Angela Hollander (45.68 percent or 5,445 votes). In the Monterey County count, Enney also remains in the lead with 71.64 percent of the vote against Hollander with 28.36 percent.
A special election was initiated after a petition was successful in terminating provisionally appointed trustee Enney, who was sworn in on Oct. 11, 2022. He was appointed to fill the seat left behind by Chris Bausch, who left the PRJUSD to fill a seat on Paso Robles City Council.
The special election is estimated to cost PRJUSD over $400,000. The petition itself did not specify the reason for terminating Enney. However, enough signatures were collected, and a special election was scheduled. Hollander is listed as a retired nonprofit manager, registered nurse, and community volunteer, and Enney is listed as a Marine, educator, rancher, and businessman.
Throughout the campaign, Enney filed two complaints with the California Fair Political Practices Commission (FPPC) against the district and the Paso Robles Public Educators (PRPE) union and its president, Bernadette Boddington, for violations of the State Political Reform Act. The first complaint was dismissed. A source sent Paso Robles Press a letter from FPPC outlining their reason for why the second complaint was also dismissed.
The letter sent from FCCP Acting Chief Enforcement Division Christopher B. Burton, stated the complaint “alleged violations of the Act’s unlawful gift provisions, but under the Act, gifts are made principally for personal purposes, not political purposes.”
Burton added, “District policies, California Education Code, and California Government Code 8314 are not under our jurisdiction. Therefore, after review of the complaint and information provided, the Enforcement Division will not pursue an enforcement action in this matter.”
Paso Robles Press reached out to Enney and current PRJUSD Trustee Dorian Baker, who was listed as a witness on the complaint, for a response to the dismissed complaint. Enney provided Paso Robles Press with the following response:
Having consulted with legal counsel before submitting both the first complaint against SLO County Superintendent James Brescia, PRJUSD Superintendent Curt Dubost, and Cary Alvord Schof; and the second complaint against the PRJUSD, PRPE, and Bernadette Boddington, I am not surprised they were rejected. I was advised prior to submitting them that the FPPC was not likely to take action but that I would have to submit the complaints to them prior to pursuing criminal charges.
The FPPC response to both complaints was that “it was not in their jurisdiction.” Follow-up communications with them confirmed that my complaints were criminal in nature and would need to be submitted to the local District Attorney. That has been done.
The citizens and taxpayers of Paso Robles deserve a full accounting from the County Office of Education and the PRJUSD as to why a PRJUSD district office employee, on taxpayer time, using taxpayer equipment, colluded with the County Superintendent of Schools, Jim Brescia, to draft a petition to remove a legally appointed trustee by coordinating with the PRPE (Jim Lynette) to collect the necessary signatures for my removal. Further accountability is needed as to why the PRJUSD Superintendent, Curt Dubost, turned a blind eye to allowing the PRPE leadership (Bernadette Boddington) to actively campaign for my opponent using taxpayer funded equipment and resources. Lastly, why did the PRJUSD Superintendent turn a blind eye to the active campaigning on school grounds by my opponent?
There is evidence of many serious violations of district policies and state laws that have shaken the community’s confidence in the PRJUSD, and the citizens and taxpayers of North County deserve answers.
To many, it appears that a cabal of bureaucrats and government union members decided that they did not like the opinions of a representative of the people and set out to silence him. And they cost the taxpayers of Paso Robles $500,000.
In the end, they lost. Now we have to make sure that this abuse of power never happens again.
Paso Robles Press reached out to Boddington for a statement to which she provided the following:
I am very pleased to report that the complaint filed against me by Mrs. Dorian Baker and Mr. Kenny Enney to the Fair Political Practices Commission was found to be baseless. With the election finally behind us, my hope, both personally and as the PRPE President is that we can move forward and concentrate on the business of Educating our students, which is the main purpose of the School District. Our educators and school employees are a dedicated group of professionals, completely committed to the goal of educating our children in a safe and supportive environment. We are members of this community, we attend church, concerts at the park, we vote, and most of us are proud parents of Paso Robles Public Schools students. We believe that every student deserves to be educated, that success is more than a grade, and we will continue to act with integrity and respect towards every member of this community, the community we belong. I encourage every community member to come visit our schools, meet our staff, celebrate our sports, arts and events. PRPE is looking forward to working together with the school board and the community to improve our children’s education. And, if you can read this letter, thank a teacher.
As for the rest of the ballot count, letters to cure voter signatures must be received in the County Elections Office by 5 p.m. on Monday, May 1. There are approximately 94 letters still left to be returned. Voters can return their letters by:
- Mailing the signed statement in the enclosed envelope that was provided with the letter.
- Email the signed statement to email@example.com.
- Fax the signed statement to our office at (805) 781-1111.
- Deliver the signed statement in person to the County Clerk–Recorder–Elections Office located at 1055 Monterey Street, San Luis Obispo.
The final count will begin at 9 a.m. on Wednesday, May 3. At the conclusion of the count, the County Clerk-Recorder will then certify the results of the Special Election.
According to Cano, for this election, there is a good chance that her office will certify much sooner than May 18 — the deadline to certify the election.
Paso Robles Press is following this election and will update as more information becomes available. More election updates can be found on slovote.com.