Letter to Editor: SSFUSD District A Seat Needs to be Vacated by Patricia Murray

South San Francisco, CA  August 28, 2023 by Martin Romero, Resident District A, Community Leader

Letter to the editor, Everything South City “ESC”


This is in response to the comments made on behalf of the South San Francisco Unified School District, by Board President Dr. Chialin Hsieh.

{CLICK HERE – scroll for comments}


I am submitting this inquiry to ESC, Dr Hsieh and Superintendent Moore.


Dear Board President Dr. Chialin Hsieh and Superintendent Dr. Shawnterra Moore:


There are many residents in District A who do not agree with the comments in ESC that Patricia Murray may continue to serve on the Board of Trustees “Board”, on behalf of District A, in the South San Francisco Unified School District “SSFUSD”. Many of us feel misled that we were not immediately notified by Ms. Murray, when she moved from District A.


There are questions listed below, which need to be addressed by the Board.


Through her own admission Patrica Murray has confirmed that she was asked to vacate the residence in District A, by the property owner. Although Ms. Murray confirmed that she has moved out of District A, the exact date when she moved was not confirmed. It is apparent that she is no longer a bona fide member of the community and, therefore, cannot continue to

represent District A.


No case law, legal precedent or SSFUSD Board Policy was cited as the legal authority to substantiate the opinion in ESC or “guidance” from your attorneys, Deputy County Attorney Sheila Vasantharam and County Attorney John Nibbelin.



  1. Do you have a copy of the opinion letters or emails that were prepared by your attorneys?


  1. Will you please submit a copy of the attorney’s opinions for public review?


As an official public document, the public has a right to review a copy of the attorney opinion letters that were prepared and submitted to the Board. As you know, having already moved from District A, at this time Ms, Murray is currently ineligible to run for the Board, as a representative for District A.


  1. As Board President was this a unilateral decision that was made to allow an extension?


  1. If so, what legal authority was used to make this decision for District A?


  1. Before the decision was made, was this matter discussed in a public hearing by the entire Board and did the Board vote to approve or deny an extension?


  1. What is the current SSFUSD District Policy, when a board member has moved out of the district?


  1. Is there an established SSFUSD Board Policy (similar to the City of SSF policy that allows 30 days), which would allow an extended amount of time beyond the day that the property was vacated?

Without an established SSFUSD Board Policy, with a predetermined extension of time previously established, there is no justification for an extension. As a result, on the day that Ms.Murray vacated the property and moved out of District A, she was no longer eligible to serve on the Board as a representative for District A. In addition, any decision to return to the property that was vacated belongs to the property owner.


  1. In the letter from the property manager, did Patricia Murray enter into a contractual agreement with the owner of the property to purchase or lease the property?


  1. Did the Board and your attorneys confirm that the letter submitted by the property manager is a legally binding contract or lease agreement?


A letter in lieu of a contract and/or Ms. Murray’s verbal or written statement of intent to return to District A, are insufficient proof that Ms. Murray will actually return to the residence or to District A.


The public has a right to receive verification that any delay in vacating the Board position is legally justified. Otherwise, any delay in vacating the Board of Trustee position for District A is an illegal and unjustified stall tactic to remain on the Board. Please submit your answers and evidence as soon as possible.


Without proof that the delay has been legally substantiated, the Board should immediately declare the District A trustee position as having been vacated and proceed accordingly.




/s/ Martin Romero

Resident of District A, in the South San Francisco Unified School District



For more on this issue, please

CLICK HERE for ESC article South San Francisco Elected Official Residing Outside of District

CLICK HERE for Jeffrey Tong’s Letter to the Editor

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18 days ago

I do care

your neighbor
your neighbor
24 days ago

“get over it” is not an option.
For years one councilmember was rumored to live in another city, and it almost became lore, oh yeah, he doesn’t live here, and was common knowledge.
I still hold hope we, the people, can make a difference. the system works, but we the people have to call them out, letting it go is not the answer.
The School Board has to be the model to students to follow the rules.

25 days ago

Pat Murray should step down.
It is shameful that she places her self interests over students!

Taking on the responsibility of an elected obligation in representing an entire District population of students is an honor and privilege not to be taken lightly. Politics of buddy system should never play a factor when it pertains to children.

What if she had moved the day after she was elected into her District?
Would she have been instantly removed from office?
Too many “if’s” regarding rental to list here.

If understand correctly, this is an ELECTED position BY THE PEOPLE of her District, and not a decision (determination or interpretation) to be made by Board President Chialin Hsieh or via any other’s opinion, including by humble opinion.

Manny, I completely understand the frustration and thought of “throwing away the towel” when dealing with local/school governance. It is overwhelming, beyond stressful and even face fear when voicing what we believe is the best for our city, the people, and/or trying to advocate for loved ones (children, parents, etc.), where our voice is in opposition to elected official’s decisions and almighty rule, which appear to be mostly motivated by self-interests (stock wealth) and narcissistic power over people (their rule vs. compassion and empathy for people to whom they were elected to represent).

General comment:
All of the decisions by Council and School Board affect us directly or indirectly, even though we think they might not. OUR VOTE DOES MATTER AND WHOM WE ELECT IMPACTS US IN EVERY DAY LIFE.

1.We just have to look at El Camino and Downtown where locals gasp in disgust and bewilderment of what used to be and where we, as well as visitors/tourists completely avoid, even as much as we wish to support and shop local businesses/restaurants.
2.The promised Safeway, sadly, will perhaps never be….maybe developer realized it was not profitable to build in area that is very much deteriorated.
3.Living conditions at Susie Way housing continues to be deplorable for YEARS and the amount of garbage and filth is absolutely shameful.
4.It’s difficult to accept that elected officials do not see or live what us locals experience on a day-to-day basis and not offer solutions and could have allowed our city to deteriorate.

A well-educated, well-informed and engaged society is a better one for all.

Gianni Grelli
Gianni Grelli
18 days ago
Reply to  Citizen

I agree ☝️

26 days ago

lol no one cares they all do what they want get overt it.

Belinda S
Belinda S
26 days ago

I did not agree with the change to district elections but this is 100% wrong according even to the CA School Board Association. Can we change back to elections at large now since clearly this district thing isn’t working?

There were council candidates switching areas to find voters – this whole thing stinks. It does not work here and this is proof, the officials obviously don’t want it either.

Board vacancies can occur in a number of ways, for example, by resignation or by a board member moving out of the district or their trustee area. When a board vacancy arises, depending on the timing, boards may fill the vacancy either by election or by provisional appointment. Boards typically make provisional appointments, but in instances where they must either make an appointment or call an election, failure to act within 60 days of the vacancy or the date of the deferred resignation will result in the county superintendent calling an election. Making a provisional appointment is a useful option for boards for two reasons: (1) the board selects the candidate who will serve until the next regular election for board members; and (2) instead of waiting for an election to fill the seat, the appointment may be made within 60 days.

This handbook is intended to assist board members with the provisional appointment process to fill vacancies on the board.

Included within this handbook are a number of tools to assist boards with filling vacancies, beginning with CSBA’s Sample Board Bylaw 9223, which provides the process for filling vacancies.

Also included are documents to assist the board with interviewing and selecting the candidate for appointment and providing required notice of the appointment to the public. Finally, this handbook provides the relevant statutes that boards must follow when making an appointment.

This handbook is for information only and is not a substitute for legal advice. CSBA’s District and County Office of Education Legal Services can provide legal assistance to local educational agencies (LEAs). Please contact Legalservices@csba.org for additional information.

Sam Tang
Sam Tang
28 days ago

good point

Ava Marie Romero
28 days ago

I agree with my dad who wrote this about the school board officials he’s right we need to do a special election to elect someone from our neighborhood for school board, we have Amanda Anthony in her district and on her off working hours she runs a non profit called renaissance entrepreneurship center, helping small businesses like casa vegana and someday my barbecue sauce company in a commercial kitchen. But my dad suggests I take a business course at skyline college and I will consider it. So we need a experience educator who can serve on the board like pat Murray so thank you dad for writing to my friends at everything south city on this topic

Cory David
Cory David
28 days ago

To those not paying attention, be aware that when it comes to governance in South San Francisco, our city officials have a bad habit of “making it up as they go along.” To them, no law is hard and fast, they are all subject to personal interpretation. That is assuming these individuals even know the law. Thanks for your efforts Mr. Romero and it seems that when it comes to SSF, it’s time for a reset when it comes to respect for the rule of law.