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April 12
1738 - Fr. Francisco Garcés born in Spain; came through SCV in 1776, found Tataviam fighting with Coastal Chumash, observed Santa Clara River flowing by night and dry by day despite the season being spring [story]
Garces statue


Linda Storli

Linda Storli

Santa Clarita Valley voters made a change Tuesday when they retired longtime Hart School Board member Gloria Mercado-Fortine and replaced her with first-time challenger Linda Storli-Koontz.

With all precincts reporting, Storli-Koontz garnered 1,193 votes (56.65 percent) to Mercado-Fortine’s 913 votes (43.35 percent).

Storli-Koontz, a retired Canyon High School civics teacher, challenged Mercado-Fortine, a school administrator, in the Hart District’s first-ever election for Trustee Area 1. The area includes parts of Valencia (where Mercado-Fortine lives) as well as Castaic, Val Verde and Tesoro del Valle (where Storli-Koontz lives).

The school board voted earlier this year to divide the district into trustee areas to satisfy a threatened California Voting Rights Act lawsuit. A Malibu attorney alleged that the Hart District’s previous at-large election system disenfranchised Latino residents by diluting the Latino vote.

In practice, the move had the opposite effect. Latino voters in Newhall, who would have been able to vote under the at-large system, didn’t get to vote for the school board at all on Tuesday.

And Mercado-Fortine, who is Latino, lost the seat under the new trustee-area system after winning all but one of her previous bids for the Hart Board as an at-large candidate.

Mercado-Fortine was the only board member to vote against the switch to trustee-area elections.

Steve Sturgeon

Steve Sturgeon

Storli-Koontz is no stranger to Santa Clarita’s political scene. She served on the city of Santa Clarita’s first Parks Commission and previously ran for City Council. She had long expressed an interest in running for the Hart School Board once she retired from her teaching position in the district, which she did earlier this year. She is also a Realtor.

Incumbent Steve Sturgeon handily won reelection to the Hart Board on Tuesday night as the representative of the newly crafted Trustee Area 4, which is primarily Canyon Country. Sturgeon tallied 1,313 votes (61.85 percent) to his 19-year-old challenger Andrew Taban’s 810 votes (38.15 percent).

Lynne Plambeck, Dan Mortensen

Lynne Plambeck, Dan Mortensen

Finally, both incumbents on the Newhall County Water Board will be returning for four more years despite a strong challenge from business owner Don Cruikshank. It was a virtual three-way tie for much of the evening as the votes were tabulated, but when the dust settled, veteran water board member and environmental advocate Lynne Plambeck finished first with 960 votes (28.67 percent), while Dan Mortensen garnered 941 votes (28.1 percent) to keep his seat.

Out of the running were Cruikshank (892 votes, 26.63 percent) and Jeff Ford (556 votes, 16.6 percent).

 

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32 Comments

  1. Congratulations!! I’m so proud and happy for you!

  2. Congratulations Mrs. Storli?

  3. Great, maybe this will change things. This school districts seems so unorganized it drives me crazy. When my daughter who has special needs started here, from elementary school it was so bad. The right hand didn’t know what the left hand was doing. They didn’t even have record that she was going to start. Sooooooo unorganized.

  4. Jon says:

    How funny that the system that was to help latino candidates actually hurt them.

    Shows the old system worked just fine.

  5. Way to go Mrs Storli!!

  6. This is great news!! Congrats Linda Hovis Storli-Koontz

  7. Yay!! Congratulations!! Can you take us to Olvera St again like you did when you were our teacher?

  8. Gloria works with a group in my office. I see her regularly.

  9. Can’t seem to get away from this lady. Hated her as a teacher in high school-the worst teacher possible & now on what seems like constant news feeds.
    Now, she’s part of the school board, lord help us all.

  10. Jason Moller Jason Moller says:

    57% of the vote is huge! Congrats Hart District as required to maintain a fine district that one supplied for students and Two Building planning.

  11. She was a great teacher at Canyon.

  12. Brittney Are Brittney Are says:

    Yaaayyy! Storli!!!!!!

  13. Evangeline Shaw says:

    Congratulations Lynne Plambeck for getting the most votes for re-election to the Newhall County Water District Board.

    And thanks to all the Newhall voters who voted for Lynne because they understood that the other 3 candidates were supported by the home building industry, which wants to continue to take Santa Claritans’ water away to use it to bring more people in, to buy the builders’ new crackerbox houses and further jam up Santa Clarita’s already overcrowded roads.

    For those who didn’t notice, the big money outsiders paid for 3 separate “attack flyers”, mailed to Newhall water customers, trying to get rid of the ONLY honest voice on Newhall County Water District’s Board.

  14. Storyline was such a great History teacher and is very involved in this city. She deserves this.

  15. Anonymous says:

    Congratulations to you Mrs. Storli-Koontz and to the Hart District!!
    ..

  16. Not all precincts – some weren’t allowed to vote!

  17. Anonymous says:

    this system means that the majority of the district doesn’t get to vote for most of the board and minority groups will see that in the future they have less of a voice in elections.

  18. She was an amazing teacher at Canyon. Congratulations.

  19. Ramy Hatoum Ramy Hatoum says:

    She was so racist and rude… I hope she has changed!

  20. Best history teacher ever had!! Miss you mrs. Storli!

Leave a Comment


SCV NewsBreak
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