The Santa Rosa School Board elected its new lineup of office holders at the tail end of Wednesday night’s meeting, but the typically routine votes were split this time around.

Trustee Frank Pugh nominated vice president Bill Carle for president, which was followed by a unanimous vote in support. For vice president, Pugh then nominated Donna Jeye, a move that was seconded by outgoing President Larry Haenel. The vote was unanimous.

After trustee Ron Kristof nominated current clerk Laura Gonzalez to keep her post, he got a second from newly sworn in board member Jenni Klose. But instead of a roll call vote as had happened after the first two nominations, Haenel promptly offered up Pugh for the post.

The vote was then taken and Pugh beat out Gonzalez 4-3 with Jeye, Haenel and Carle backing Pugh. Pugh cast a vote for himself. Klose and Kristof voted for Gonzalez and Gonzalez voted for herself.

The split vote was followed by Klose being nominated to represent the board on the Sonoma County Committee on School District Organization. Kristof was nominated as alternate but declined. Gonzalez was then nominated to serve on the district panel of the Independent Study Physical Education program. She “respectfully declined” after which Jeye was nominated.

The split vote and subsequent nominations for less than choice committee positions might signal that a rift that emerged on the board last spring still lingers, according to observers.

A split occurred back in 2010, with a different alliance of votes and in which Gonzalez and Haenel sided together. Read about that here: