Challenger wins Old Adobe school board seat

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Two incumbents and a challenger were elected to the Old Adobe Union School Board Tuesday, and will start the next term leading Petaluma’s second-largest district with a $38.5 million bond secured to pursue upgrades at its five elementary campuses.

Retired educator Patsy Knight, who spent 26 years teaching within the district, was re-elected with 29 percent of the votes in unofficial returns Wednesday.

Challenger Kimberly Shaver, a secondary science teacher and parent of an Old Adobe student, said she was “honored and thankful” to have received 26 percent. One of her first goals is to modernize the district’s website to help enhance communication with local families.

The third seat went to 28-year-old incumbent Michael Fung, who was re-elected with 25 percent of the vote. An Old Adobe alum and Petaluma native, he was grateful for voter support of Measure L, the second bond approved by voters in six years to address a “laundry list” of improvement needs within the district.

To pay for the bond, voters within the district agreed to add $30 per $100,000 of assessed value to each property owner’s annual tax bill.

“The fact that they want to support our community and have safe and secure campuses, it shows what a great place we live in that people are willing to support that,” Fung said.

Incumbent Anthony Bendik will bow out after two terms, finishing with 20 percent of the unofficial count. He was one of the few trustees that actively campaigned for Measure L, and said he was proud of “what I’m handing off” to Shaver.

“Having that public trust, we value that,” Bendik said. “We don’t take it for granted. We operate in a transparent, open (environment) and we try to be inclusive, developing a culture of collaboration, especially these last four years.”

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