The Saugus Union School Board is expected to declare trustee Stephen S. Winkler’s board seat vacant Tuesday.
Winkler, elected in November 2011, came under fire this past week for offensive posts on his social media accounts.
At a special meeting Thursday, his fellow board members censured him and individually called for him to resign. He refused.
At Thursday’s meeting, Winkler acknowledged he had signed legal documents listing a home address in Sylmar. He also purported to have a lease agreement for a property in Valencia, although he did not produce any such documentation.
If Winkler does live outside of the Saugus Union School District, he would be barred from board service under California Government Code Section 1770 and Education Code Section 5090.
School board President Judy Umeck said Thursday the board has been investigating Winkler’s residency for the past three months.
Tuesday’s agenda item is written in such a way as to indicate the school district has discovered cause for his ouster.
Rather than being presented as a discussion item, a Friday-afternoon supplement to the regular board agenda addresses the matter of Winkler’s residency as an action item.
The board is on the hook Tuesday to vote yes or no on taking “action to declare a vacancy on the board” pursuant to the relevant code sections “based on information indicating that Mr. Winkler may not reside in the Saugus Union School District.”
If the board votes yes, documents to remove Winkler from office would be filed with the county superintendent of schools, and the ouster would be irrevocable.
If the board votes no, it would have to do so upon making a determination that the “information” indicating Winkler’s non-residency is incorrect or obsolete.
That is an unlikely outcome. If the school district has spent the last 90 days investigating Winkler’s residency and found nothing wrong, there would be no associated “action” item on the agenda. The results would simply be presented as “information.”
Furthermore, a “no” vote would place the board at odds with enraged members of the public who attended Thursday’s meeting and demanded Winkler’s departure, regardless of where he lives.
There is a third possible outcome. The board could table the motion and bring it back for a vote at a future date.