D.C. City Council member Frank Smith (D-Ward 1) said yesterday he will propose emergency legislation today to hold a special election to fill his former Ward 1 school board seat, which has been vacant since he joined the council in early January.

The board's 10 remaining members failed several times to agree on a replacement for Smith and last week asked the council to authorize the special election.

"I regret that the board . . . has failed to appoint someone to fill the rest of my term," said Smith. "I think it was the board's duty to ensure that Ward 1 had continous representation and to save District citizens the huge expense of holding an election."

Both Mayor Marion Barry and City Council Chairman David A. Clarke have said they oppose holding the election, which Barry said would cost about $40,000.

The proposal is expected to face stiff opposition on the council. Seven of the council's 13 members indicated last week that they will oppose such a move.

If as many as five council members vote against Smith's emergency bill, the measure will be dead.

School Board president David H. Eaton, who was elected at-large, has been designated as the tempory representative for Ward 1. A regular election to fill the seat is scheduled for November.