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Petition Drive Started for Inglewood Runoff Election

October 29, 1987

Protesting the process used by the Inglewood school board to narrow the field of candidates for a board vacancy, a community organization plans to mount a petition drive to force a runoff election.

Calling the process used by the Inglewood school board to select four finalists "secretive and undemocratic," Terry Coleman of Concerned Citizens of Inglewood said that the petition drive will begin Nov. 10, when the board makes the appointment.

The board is being criticized by community groups and applicants for its refusal to make public the applications of the 20 candidates.

"This stuff is public record, not top secret," Coleman said.

The seat was left vacant in September by the death of board Vice President Ernest Shaw.

The four finalists selected by the Inglewood school board are Claude R. Lataillade, Dexter A. Henderson, Lawrence R. Aubry and Joseph T. Rouzan Jr.

Trustees were criticized by community groups and residents when they voted to appoint a candidate to fill the vacancy rather than call an election. Both are options under state law. School board President Lois Hale-Hill defended the process, saying it saved the financially ailing district $65,000.

Voters have 30 days from the appointment to obtain the 678 signatures needed to force a special election. District officials say that if petitioners force an election, the board's appointee will be permitted to serve until the election and may run for the seat.

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