"Shut up and listen," Jon Hill says to prospective newcomers looking to fill his seat. "That will be your first job when you become an elected official."
Hill served on the Monterey Peninsula Unified School District board until Dec. 10, when he moved away from the area in the middle of his second term.
Hill had been on the board since he moved to Monterey in 2011. During his tenure, he says he's proud of helping guide MPUSD out of the 2008 recession, which hit district programs and resources particularly hard. In his first race, he beat out Seaside incumbent Richard Glenn with a 22-point lead. He believes his smartest decision was supporting the hire of current MPUSD Superintendent PK Diffenbaugh. "He was young, but he was is just so dang smart," Hill says.
Now in retirement, Hill's vacated seat is open for an appointee to fill for just a few months, until the 2020 election in November.
Two other MPUSD seats are also open this November: Trustee Wendy Root Askew is not seeking re-election to the school board; she is instead one of the four candidates vying to become the next District 4 county supervisor, a position held by Askew's current boss, Jane Parker.
Trustee Debra Gramespacher, representing Area 2, is also up for re-election. It is not confirmed whether she will be running again this year or not. Jessica Hare has filed paperwork creating a campaign committee to run for the Area 2 seat.
The 2020 election season not only put three out of the seven board seats on the ballot, but guarantees some new faces without incumbents. The board of trustees makes decisions for the largest school district on the Peninsula.