(Image by val-suprunovich/Freepik)

Amid an unusually light lineup of decisions facing Bay Area voters in an off-year election this week, Oakland selected a new school board representative while Los Gatos decided to renew a parcel tax that helps fund local schools.

Updated results from a special election Tuesday to fill the empty District 5 seat on the Oakland Unified School District Board of Education show former teacher and principal Jorge Lerma leading Sasha Ritzie-Hernandez with 57.4 percent of the vote.

Jorge Lerma appears to have won a seat on the Oakland Unified School District Board. (Campaign photo)

Ritzie-Hernandez is described as a “coordinator” on the Alameda County Registrar of Voters’ website.

As of Friday night, Lerma had 2,006 votes to Ritzie-Hernandez’s 1,489. The seat for District 5, which includes the Fruitvale District, has been vacant since earlier this year when Mike Hutchinson, now the school board’s president, was elected to the District 4 seat after his neighborhood was rezoned to that district.

In Los Gatos, voters appear to have approved renewing a parcel tax to fund local schools, according to updated returns from Tuesday’s special election.

As of late Friday, just under 75 percent of the votes counted approved the tax, which required a two-thirds vote in favor.

Measure A is the current parcel tax that funds the Los Altos School District, but it is set to expire in 2025. Should voters approve the renewal of Measure A, the tax would increase by $72, for a total of $295 per parcel, according to the school district.

The district said that 13 percent of its budget comes from the parcel tax funding, and if the renewal is rejected by voters, the district could face nearly $3 million in annual cuts.

Katy St. Clair got her start in journalism by working in the classifieds department at the East Bay Express during the height of alt weeklies, then sweet talked her way into becoming staff writer, submissions editor, and music editor. She has been a columnist in the East Bay Express, SF Weekly, and the San Francisco Examiner. Starting in 2015, she begrudgingly scaled the inverted pyramid at dailies such as the Vallejo Times-Herald, The Vacaville Reporter, and the Daily Republic. She has her own independent news site and blog that covers the delightfully dysfunctional town of Vallejo, California, where she also collaborates with the investigative team at Open Vallejo. A passionate advocate for people with developmental disabilities, she serves on both the Board of the Arc of Solano and the Arc of California. She lives in Vallejo.