OAKLEY (KPIX) — There is now a plan in place to fill the vacant seats on the Oakley Union Elementary School District board after four trustees resigned over controversial comments about parents made during a virtual meeting they mistakenly believed was closed to the public.

Some parents in Oakley are still upset about those board members bad-mouthing them for wanting kids back in the classroom. Thursday night, they learned they won’t have a say about who fills those vacant seats.

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Contra Costa County School Board member Mike Maxwell, who filled in Thursday as an interim trustee, felt a special election would have delayed the effort to fill those empty seats.

“The community got what they wanted however it slows the process down a little bit,” Maxwell said.

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In a brief meeting which lasted about 20 minutes, interim school board members unanimously voted to appoint community members to the vacant seats.

But Matt Shupe, chairman of the Contra Costa Republican Party, is concerned parents will be left without a voice if the seats are filled through appointments and not a special election.

“After the members of the board were aggressively assaulting the parents and the families of these students what they thought was behind closed doors, I think those families and parents deserve to have their voices heard and have a board that represents them and their interests,” Shupe said.

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Some parents did side with the board, agreeing that a special election would have further delayed their efforts to get their kids back to school while sticking the district with an added expense estimated at between $200,000 – $300,000.