Exeter District Ambulance will hold election for Area 3 seat during Presidential Primary; one of two seats that have been vacant for nearly three years
EXETER – Exeter District Ambulance again faced a dilemma last month. The district had to decide whether to fill one of its two vacancies on the board, or to spend double to hold a special election in March.
On Sept. 23, the public ambulance district’s board of directors voted to hold a special election during the presidential primary election on March 3, 2020 to fill the vacant Area 3 seat on the board. The special election will cost between $7,364 and $8,416 at a cost of $7 to $8 per voter. That’s nearly double what it would have cost EDA for the general election on Nov. 3, 2020. A little over 1,000 voters are registered in Area 3. The board decided it could not wait as it has just three sitting board members including president Adam Pfenning, secretary Diana Mendez and member Tony Miller. Three members is the minimum for the board to have a quorum, a requirement to hold a meeting or take action on any items. If a single board member misses a meeting, it can hold up nearly after financial aspect of the district’s operations, which happened in 2017.
The board has had two vacancies since 2017 when former board members Rob Hubbard, Stacy Walters and Alan Sherer resigned. Pfenning was appointed to replace Sherer. Later that year, Darinda Kunkel resigned in December leaving the board without a quorum. On Jan. 23, 2018, the Tulare County Board of Supervisors appointed Diana Mendez to fill one of the three vacancies on the board which gave the board a quorum, and the ability to hold meetings.
EDA attorney Hilda Cantu Montoy said the ambulance district sought help from the Board of Supervisors to again appoint someone to fill a vacancy but the County said it was unable to do that because they had a quorum. Montoy said if a single candidate filed for the Area 3 seat the County agreed to appoint that person in lieu of election and waive any election fees. Montoy said there is also the possibility that the County may appoint someone to Area 3 if no one files for the election by the deadline or the extension deadline.
“It is noteworthy that if only one candidate decides to run or if no candidate decides to run then the election would be canceled and the Board will appoint someone,” Montoy wrote in a memorandum to the EDA board. “Therefore there would be no election costs.”
Area 3 encompasses the central district of Exeter between Firebaugh Avenue to the south, Visalia Road to the north, E Street to the east and Belmont north, E Street to the east and Belmont Road to the west. It also includes a block from Orange Avenue west to Belmont and Visalia Road north to Vine Street. The deadline to file for the March 3 election is Nov. 6 for signatures in lieu of fees. The nomination period begins on Nov. 11 and ends on Dec. 6. For additional information, please contact the Registrar of Voters office at 559-624-7300.