Dublin School Board Trustee Forced Out by Secret Petition

Less than one month after she was appointed to the school board, Dublin School District Trustee Niranjana “Nini” Natarajan has been forced out of the job. Natarajan, the first Indian-American to serve on the DUSD board, was let go Friday following a successful petition to kick her out of the Area 4 seat. A special election will be held on June 4.

Natarajan was appointed Dec. 11 to replace Trustee Joe Giannini, who resigned from the board two months earlier. Community members were given an opportunity to challenge the appointment in favor of a special election, which they did, eventually acquiring signatures from 1.5% of the registered voters as required by law. Once the Alameda County Registrar of Voters certified the signatures, Natarajan faced immediate termination.

“We thank Ms. Natarajan for her commitment to the community and desire to serve as a Trustee,” Superintendent Dr. Leslie Boozer said in a statement

Board President Amy Miller said the challenge and the resulting election “will cost the district tens of thousands of dollars that would be better spent on our students.”

It’s still unclear what motivated the petition to get Natarajan ousted from the board. The Alameda County Office of Education has refused to provide a copy of the document, citing Section 6253.5 of the California Government Code. It stipulates that “petitions circulated pursuant to Section 5091 of the Education Code ... and all memoranda prepared by the county elections officials in the examination of the petitions indicating which registered voters have signed particular petitions shall not be deemed to be public records and shall not be open to inspection except by the public officer or public employees who have the duty of receiving, examining or preserving the petitions or who are responsible for the preparation of that memoranda.”