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School board looks to replace Kukta

President was recently appointed interim city treasurer of Burbank.

July 06, 2012|By Megan O'Neil, megan.oneil@latimes.com
  • Outgoing school board president Debbie Kukta resigned last week after being appointed interim city treasurer by the Burbank City Council.
Outgoing school board president Debbie Kukta resigned…

Burbank Unified officials have set in motion steps to replace outgoing school board President Debbie Kukta via a special appointment.

Kukta announced her resignation last week after being appointed interim city treasurer by the Burbank City Council. The remaining board members will follow a traditional rotation, with Vice President Larry Applebaum assuming the presidency and Clerk Dave Kemp assuming the vice presidency.

“It is going to be a big set of shoes to fill, whoever takes the seat she occupies right now,” Applebaum said as he bid farewell to Kukta during her final school board meeting Thursday. “She brings an immense amount of detail orientation to a job which requires it in a lot of instances, and sometimes it is hard to muster the desire to really get into that level of minutiae.”

Options to address an empty school board seat midterm include leaving it vacant until a regularly scheduled election, appointing a replacement or holding a special election. Acting on a recommendation from Burbank Unified Supt. Jan Britz, board members voted Thursday to fill the newly vacant seat by appointment.

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Applications are available on the district website and in the superintendent’s office. The deadline to apply is July 26.

“I hope we get a number of them,” Applebaum said. “I wouldn’t be surprised if we got somewhere in the four-to-six range.”

The school board will conduct a vote on Aug. 2. The first candidate to receive three votes will be declared the appointee.

The last time a Burbank Unified school board member left midterm was in 2006, when Paul Krikorian was elected to the state Assembly.

Kukta spent seven years on the school board, and was in the middle of her second term as president. An accountant by trade, she became a go-to source for her colleagues on budget issues.

“You are a ton of the things I think this community looks for in a board member,” Kemp said Thursday. “Your leadership skills have just been enormous. You have had such a tremendous effect on all of us.”

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