DUBLIN -- Just weeks after voters picked new members for both the City Council and school board. there are already vacancies to fill.

How come? Someone from each panel in the fast growing city got elected to higher office.

The Dublin school district board decided Tuesday that it will appoint a replacement for David Haubert rather than spend up to $185,000 on a special election. Haubert stepped down last week from the school board to start the City Council term he was elected to on Nov. 6.

And, the council must decide how to replace Councilman Eric Swalwell, who will take his new seat in Congress in January. Swalwell upset longtime incumbent Rep. Pete Stark, D-Fremont in the Nov. 6 election in the 15th district.

When the council discusses the vacancy in January, Dublin Mayor Tim Sbranti said he will favor an appointment to replace Swalwell.

Holding a special election would be expensive and very likely yield a low voter turnout, as is common with special elections, the mayor said.

Sbranti also said he favors having open applications rather than picking the candidate with the next highest vote count in the November election.

"I don't think we should limit our choices but pick the best applicant who comes forward," Sbranti said. "You don't know who wants to be on the council until you ask."

Haubert and incumbent Councilman Kevin Hart handily won the two council seats in the election. Finishing next in the field of six were Doreen Wehrenberg, a city planning commissioner, and Anita Carr, a city heritage and cultural arts commissioner.

The Dublin school board, meanwhile, set 4 p.m. Jan. 11 as the deadline to submit board applications to the school district.

A two-member school board subcommittee will interview applicants behind closed doors and recommend two finalists to be interviewed in public by the full board.

Board President Greg Tomlinson said he thinks the fairest and best way to fill the vacancy is to let the public apply rather than automatically picking the next highest vote-getter in the November election.

In this case, that means Austin Ogden, an 18-year-old graduate of Dublin High School, who finished a close fourth and last in the running for three seats won by three incumbents. Ogden said he will apply for the vacancy because he wants to bring a student's point of view to the board.

"I think he (Ogden) deserves serious consideration," Tomlinson said. "He showed he has a lot of support."

The school board plans to pick the new school board member Jan. 22.

Contact Denis Cuff at 925-943-8267. Follow him at Twitter.com/deniscuff

APPLY FOR SCHOOL BOARD
The deadline is 4 p.m. Jan. 11 for Dublin residents to apply for a school board vacancy.
For details, call Shelley Fischer at 925-828-2551, Ext. 8002.