Natarajan out

Dublin Unified School Board appointee Niranjana Natarajan. A petition organizer said the organizers didn’t have anything specifically against the Indian American but just wanted the voters to choose their trustee. (DUSD photo)

Niranjana “Nini” Natarajan was named to the California-based Dublin Unified School District board in December but, just months later, a petition has forced the appointee to step down.

Natarajan was among two candidates who applied for a vacant seat left by Joe Giannini and was named to the post in December, set to fill the rest of his term through 2020, according to reports.

However, a petition that required merely 75 verified signatures has Natarajan on the outside looking in with a special election now slated to fill the seat, according to various media outlets in the San Francisco Bay Area.

Residents in Trustee Area 4, which the Indian American represented, gathered enough signatures to effectively oust her. The signatures were verified by the Alameda County Office of Education and Alameda County Registrar of Voters Feb. 1, invalidating Natarajan’s appointment, the reports said.

Because school trustees now are elected by district instead of at-large, fewer signatures are needed to recall someone than in the past, it said.

The special election will be held June 4 for Area 4 registered voters, and Natarajan could run for the position if she so chooses, reports said.

A petition organizer told the East Bay Times publication last month that the organizers didn’t have anything specifically against Natarajan but just wanted the voters to choose their trustee.

Before her removal, Natarajan was the only Indian American on the board; she is originally from Chennai in Tamil Nadu. Natarajan moved to Dublin in 2014.

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