Although the results are not official yet, because the Alameda County Registrar of Voters has not certified them, Gabrielle Blackman is clearly the winner in the two-person run for the vacancy in Area 4 of the Dublin Unified School District (DUSD).
Blackman received 70% of the vote in the second update of the counting late last week. At that point, Blackman received 587 votes and Niranjana “Nini” Natarajan 251.
As of Tuesday, 843 ballots were counted.
Natarajan had been appointed on a 3-1 vote in December to replace Joe Giannini, who resigned in October, owing to a time conflict.
Voters in Area 4 petitioned to have the appointment vacated and an election called.
Blackman was endorsed by Councilmember Arun Goel, and 2018 council candidate Bobby Khullar, both of whom have called on the council to tighten up the rapid growth rate. Dublin Between 2017 and 2018, Dublin grew at 4.5%, the fastest city growth rate in the state.
Blackman told a reporter that although many people endorsed her, she did not rely on endorsements, but on her community involvement and speaking out about fast growth and its impact on school construction. She does not want the physical impact of growth to impede Dublin’s student performance in the classroom.
The most important issue the school board faces right now is hiring a new superintendent. The former superintendent, Leslie Boozer, left the district after a surprise announcement at a school board meeting.
Blackman said that what she will be looking for in candidates would be a good educational background with business sense and management experience. She does not want someone who is just interested in “moving up the ranks”.
Asked what other important business the school board should address in the near future, Blackman said there needs to be a better focus “on the big picture, instead of decision by fire drill.”
Blackman has served on several committees, including one on design of the high school.
A Dublin resident for 13 years, Blackman’s three children attend Dublin public schools, including one in the lower grades.
In a statement released by the district, Board President Amy MIller said, “The selection of Gabi lends another unique perspective to the makeup of the Board. We are one step closer to a fully seated board, which will help the district navigate the many major projects and decisions in front of us. We look forward to working with Gabi as we move towards the 2019-20 school year.”
An election will be held in November to fill the seat vacated by Dan Cunniingham who resigned effective March 1. The winner will bring board membership back to five trustees.