John Louritt appointed to Douglas County School Board
John Louritt, who lost a primary election for Douglas County School Board in September, was appointed Wednesday to fill the position left vacant by the teacher who won it.
Louritt, 54, a retired police detective, filed an application for the position after Douglas High School teacher Randy Green was told he had a conflict of interest and could not serve the term to which he was elected.
Louritt ran against Green and incumbent John Raker and received 1,487 votes in the primary, two less than Raker.
“Since then, it’s been a long time,” Louritt said. “But it’s rewarding now. I’m glad I actually prevailed.”
Louritt was born in California but never lived in one place very long because his father was in the U.S. Navy.
He graduated from South Tahoe High School, and worked in South Lake Tahoe as a detective.
He moved to Gardnerville 14 years ago because his wife, Marty, did not like living in the snow. He retired from the police force in 1998 and now works part-time as a domestic violence and sexual assault caseworker.
“I originally decided to run for the board when I had the time to do so,” Louritt said. “This was the first opening in my area.”
His daughter Karlye, 17, is a senior at Douglas High School and has attended Douglas County schools since kindergarten.
Louritt, who volunteers his time on the Senior Services Advisory Council and the Young at Heart Advisory Board, said he hopes to be a unifying force on the school board.
“I ran my campaign based on healthy relationships,” he said. “It’s certainly OK to disagree but you have to be above being the little guy. If you’re not in the majority vote, you still have to support the board.”
Louritt was one of four candidates to seek the vacant seat.
Keith Hellwinkel withdrew from candidacy, saying, “I just don’t think I’m ready for this right now.”
Brian Chandler and Stacey Francois also applied for the position.
After a question-and-answer period, board members discussed their personal choices.
Trustees David Brady, Jim Keegan and Keith Roman were in favor of Louritt. George Echan and Michele Lewis argued for Francois and Cheri Johnson favored Chandler.
“I was impressed by the freshness of his answers,” Johnson said. “Frankly, it was nice to hear it.”
However, twice the votes were split, 3-3 between Louritt and Francois. In the third vote, Louritt won.
The seat was left vacant just two months after the election with the decision from Douglas County District Judge Michael Gibbons that Green could not sit on the board and remain an employee of the district. Green received nearly 9,500 votes, almost twice that of his opponent.
Support Local Journalism
Support Local Journalism
Readers around the Lake Tahoe Basin and beyond make the Tahoe Tribune's work possible. Your financial contribution supports our efforts to deliver quality, locally relevant journalism.
Now more than ever, your support is critical to help us keep our community informed about the evolving coronavirus pandemic and the impact it is having locally. Every contribution, however large or small, will make a difference.
Your donation will help us continue to cover COVID-19 and our other vital local news.
Start a dialogue, stay on topic and be civil.
If you don't follow the rules, your comment may be deleted.
User Legend: Moderator Trusted User
SOUTH LAKE TAHOE, Calif. — Sierra-at-Tahoe may not be able to open its full mountain this season and will have to limit the amount of terrain available due to destruction caused by the Caldor Fire.