A sparse crowd of fewer than 35 people turned out at Cardozo High School last night to voice their concerns over the unfilled Ward One school board seat at a meeting attended by two D.C. Board of Education members.

Although Board President David Eaton said the meeting was designed to hear the views of a cross section of residents in the diverse ward that stretches from stately Connecticut Avenue homes to the depressed 14th Street corridor, the turnout was far less than other meetings that have marked the board's unsuccessful attempt to appoint a member from a field that included 11 candidates.

Eaton, who was selected by his colleagues to act as interim representative of the ward, promised that it would enjoy full representation. But some members of the audience expressed reservations that Eaton would be able to serve effectively both as board president and the ward's representative.

Ibrahim Mumin, executive director of the Shaw Project Area Committee, faulted the board for not being able to make an appointment. The board's 10 members took eight ballots recently, but failed to give any candidate the six votes necessary for victory.

The board has asked the City Council to authorize a special election. But the council has rejected the request, asserting that it would cost too much money and the selection was the board's responsibility. Board member Eugene Kinlow (At-large) also attended the meeting.