The Coast News Group
Sage Naumann, 18, listens to CUSD Board member Kelli Moors condemn his negative campaign tactics at the Aug. 14 meeting. Naumann has been critical of current board members since he began his campaign in January 2013 for election to the CUSD Board. Photo by Rachel Stine

CUSD to appoint new board member

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Unified School District (CUSD) Board of Trustees agreed to fill resigning member Kelli Moors’ seat via provisional selection rather than spend nearly $400,000 on a special election at its Aug. 14 meeting. 

On Aug. 5, board member Kelli Moors announced that she would be resigning mid-term from the CUSD Board in order to accept a position with the law firm Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost, which provides legal services to the district under contract.

With her resignation taking effect Sept. 2, the board is left with a vacant seat until the end of Moors’ term in December 2016.

The board had the option of selecting a new member via provisional appointment or arranging a special election.

Due to cost concerns and timeliness, the board members, excluding Moors who refrained from contributing to the discussion and vote, unanimously agreed to select their new member with a provisional appointment next month.

Superintendent Suzette Lovely explained at the meeting that under California Education Code, if the board appointed a fifth member, that member could be sworn in within weeks and would serve until the next regular election Nov. 4, 2014. The district would need to spend $5,617 to add the additional seat to the 2014 ballot.

She said that if the board agreed to allow voters to choose the next member with a special election, Moors’ seat would remain vacant for nearly a year because April 8, 2014 is the next available county election date.

Furthermore, the district would be required to pay about $380,000 for the election from its general fund.

The four board members agreed that while allowing voters to select the next candidate would be ideal, the cost of an election made that option impractical.

Board President Elisa Williamson voiced additional concern that if they did not select a new board member as soon as possible, the remaining four members could not rule on items if tied votes occurred.

“That would almost paralyze the district,” she said.

The board members decided to accept applications until Sept. 5, and publicly interview all eligible candidates and make a selection Sept. 16.

Lovely said that the eligible candidates must be at least 18 years old, a resident within the Carlsbad school district, a registered voter, and able to pass a criminal background check.

As has become a regular occurrence at district meetings, CUSD board member hopeful Sage Naumann criticized the board publicly during the comment period in an attempt to garner support for his own candidacy.

As the only public speaker on the item, he urged the board to select its new member via appointment to save money while also questioning the board members’ efforts and leadership skills without citing any specific examples.

Following his comments, Moors responded to Naumann’s criticisms in her farewell statement to the board, the first time any board member has publicly addressed his derogatory campaigning tactics.

Identifying Naumann by name, Moors said, “I’m appalled by some of the negative whisper campaigns.”

She subsequently recanted saying that Naumann’s statements did not qualify as whispers, seeing as how he has posted accusations of the board on his website and voiced them in public.

About his campaigning tactics she said, “I’m sure it’s beneath the dignity of any candidate for this board.”

Naumann later said that he was not surprised that Moors had called him out after he publicly accused her of acting on a conflict of interest when she voted to extend Fagen, Friedman & Fulfrost’s contract at the board’s July 24 meeting.

“I wouldn’t expect allegations to be met with silence,” he said.

Despite Moors’ pointed comments, Naumann said that he still intended to apply for her seat on the board.



Brian Brady August 23, 2013 at 11:21 am

It might be nice of the Coast News dug a little deeper like the UT-Watchgog did:

Matt August 24, 2013 at 7:38 pm

Agreed. Something is rotten on the Carlsbad School Board. This conflict of interest was never disclosed.

I wonder if there were other conflicts of interest that we don’t yet know about, related to all the money the CUSD Board is wasting by opening a new high school that is three-quarters empty because students don’t want to attend it?

More investigative reporting, please.

Daniel Yowell August 18, 2013 at 11:07 pm

Kelli Moors should have to either complete the term she ran for and was elected too, or she should have to pay for the cost of which ever method the board elects to choose to fill her seat. This notion that people can stand for election, win the election and then leave the seat early when another good opportunity comes by should not happen without consequences. With few exceptions [Health, Criminal, or Family reasons]these people should be compelled to either pay for the special election or complete the term they told the voters they wanted during the election campaign. Ms. Moors, your sanctimonious attacks on Mr. Sage are without credibility since you seem to have no issue with the money you are going to cost the school district by leaving early. I guess your school district has a forest of money trees growing somewhere. Ms. Moors, have you no shame, on July 24th you vote to extend the District’s contract and then shortly thereafter leave for a position with that firm? Surely, there must be some sort of law broken here.

Brian Brady August 18, 2013 at 8:39 pm

Oh I love it! A smart and engaged young man(who is a product of the school district) called the emperors out for wearing no clothes.

…and the emperors treated him him like he was still one of their subjects.

I hope this young man wins. Good grief but we need some fresh ideas in government

Marie August 16, 2013 at 10:41 pm

Well of course he’s going to be negative and critical, Kelli Moors. When there are as many things wrong with the district as there are, someone has to say the hard things. She’s just mad that Sage has discovered her acting on a conflict of interest.

Marilynn Gallagher August 16, 2013 at 1:02 am


What a breath of fresh air. I have been appalled and frustrated at the continuous lack of accountability in our City by our TRUSTEES, who are supposed to be acting in the best interests of the taxpayers and their children. Carlsbad Unified touts itself as being a first class school district. HMMMMMMM…
No writing program? No Gate Program? The largest class sizes in San Diego, and a brand new High School that fits 1500 but is opening with 280 kids?
Dios Mio.
The grossest part is CUSDS shameless using of CEF and PTAS to make up for their poor decision making by encouraging them to charge for Summer School, “homework assistance” and worst of all encouraging parent volunteers to fund ART MUSIC PE SCIENCE and what ever else they NEED in their school.
I have plenty of suggestions!
How about shaving off some of those excessive classified positions, instead of adding more superintendents? Or, you could always rent out part of Sage Creek to a paying charter school instead of “giving it away” to Mira Costa (so adults can co-mingle with our kids on the new campus?)

Breakfast is a big hit…we have about 4 kids at our school who eat it, yet you are paying for 2 people to work there and serve “hot breakfast” when the program is not mandated by the state. Come to think of it, why do we need a kitchen at all, WE LIVE IN SAN DIEGO..have you looked outside, we don’t need Hot Meals. Follow your neighbors down in Solana and Del Mar and outsource the food. Maybe you could even sell the property you have been sitting on for YEARS that is boarded up on the corner of Valley. And Close BV or Magnolia instead of renting out half of each. I hear the underfunded, undertaxed argument from you guys and PSAC KYM and Claudine Jones so often I could scream. LETS BE proactive instead of looking for more money from those soon to be illegal CAB LOANS, prop 30, and continuously begging our poor poor parents for dough. RUN CARLSBAD like a business, it is not your rich aunts trust fund.

SAGE – KEEP UP THE FIGHT. There are many of us out there that support you. Sorry I missed the meeting.

Marilynn Gallagher

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