Updated at 2 p.m. Nov. 8, 2012
Gary Woods was tossed from the Grossmont Union High School District board Tuesday night in a vote that could signal new life for a high school in Alpine.
With all 377 precincts counted, incumbent school board member Priscilla Schreiber and former La Mesa Treasurer Jim Stieringer grabbed the two seats being filled.
Schreiber had 28.2 percent of the vote to Stieringer’s 19 percent. Woods won 18.6 percent—641 votes behind Stieringer, who previously served on the Grossmont Healthcare District board.
In November 2010, after resigning from that board in a bid for a full-time job with the district, Stieringer said he he would “absolutely not” consider another bid for elective office. (He also ran for La Mesa mayor in 2006, taking third after serving four years as city treaurer.)
Meanwhile, Stieringer’s wife, Betty, a nurse, was the top vote-getter in the race for three seats on the Grossmont Healthcare District board, taking 22.1 percent of the vote.
Appointed incumbent W.R “Bob” Ayres was second and four-year board member Michael Emerson retained his seat in third.
But healthcare board President Deborah McElravy was fifth in the nine-person field and loses the seat she’s held since December 2006.
With Jim Stieringer on the school board, an Alpine high school has a new backer—in addition to Schreiber.
Woods, who holds a doctorate in education, had opposed opening a 12th high school in the district.
Meanwhile, a reported Grand Jury investigation was looking into the Grossmont Union High School District’s handling of bond funds and the promised-but-not-delivered Alpine high school.
Update from Jim Stieringer:
A victory lap at this time may be a bit premature since my lead over Dr. Woods is only 600+ votes with more than 60,000 absentees and provisional ballots uncounted.
At this time I can only comment about the courtesy of my five opponents and the constructive nature of their attitude toward me and each other. Unfortunately I'm also aware that there is friction among some board members. That friction may continue following the election. My goal as a new member would be (note the subjunctive tense!) to serve as a calming influence with a written agreement of civility toward each other, the administration, District employees and the public we serve.
I am grateful for the favorable response of the voting public. I look forward to serving if the remaining uncounted ballots confirm that I have won a seat on the board.