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School District Election Taking Shape  

By Jonathan Friedman
Lookout Staff

July 16, 2010 -- Eight-year Board member Oscar de la Torre’s announcement earlier this week that he would seek a third term rather than run for City Council appeared to mean all four incumbents would be in the race.

But Kelly Pye announced this week that she had changed her mind after deciding to run again last month and would not seek a second term.

“It was a difficult decision,” Pye said. “I care deeply about our school district. I admire our communities for working so hard for our schools. But I have two children, they’re both going to be in high school next year and my son will be in college in two years.

"Time with them is fleeting," she said. "I just decided I needed to be there more for them.”

Incumbents Barry Snell and Ralph Mechur announced last month they would compete in the election.

Snell was elected to his first term in 2006. Mechur was appointed to fill the seat vacated by Emily Bloomfield in 2007. He ran unopposed in a special 2008 election to complete her term.

Three challengers have emerged. They are longtime education activist Laurie Lieberman, Financial Oversight Committee (FOC) member Nimish Patel and former Santa Monica High School teacher and track coach Patrick Cady, who is a Malibu resident.

The City of Malibu has been without a resident on the board since Kathy Wisnicki ended her term in 2008 after declining to run for re-election.

The candidacy filing period began on Monday. Potential candidates have until Aug. 6 to collect 100 signatures and return their nomination papers to City Hall.


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