No Vote In Calexico School Board Vacancy

By Mario Conde

Pictured are from Left to Right: Norma Aguilar, Gloria Romo, Joong Kim, and Ruth Duarte.

The Calexico School board failed to choose a new member of the board since there was no majority vote to elect one of the two applicants interviewed Tuesday.

The board held its regular meeting this past Tuesday and had the interviews for the applicants that wanted to fill the vacancy left by Ruben De La Rosa last year. Five applicants applied but three withdrew their application. Guillermo Hermosillo, Edward Higuera, Lorenzo Calderon, Rudy Maldonado, and Antonio Valenzuela were the five the applied.

Maldonado and Valenzuela were the only two candidates that were interviewed by the board. The interview process consisted in asking questions from the audience and one question from each of the board members. The questions ranged from how many board meetings they have attended and their plan to improve student academic performance.

Valenzuela stated that he knows the issues that affect the school district and said that the district should look at their finances and not overspend money were it affects students. Valenzuela emphasize that the board should forget their differences and work united with the union, administration, and board for the good of the students. Valenzuela got fourth place in the last voting election where Aguilar, Kim, and Duarte were elected.

Maldonado highlighted his experience at IID and his knowledge in governance at the State and local level. He said that having the board and unions working together in common, the district would accomplish more things. Maldonado ran for Imperial Irrigation District but lost to Matt Dessert last November.

After the interviews were over, Trustee Ruth Duarte made a motion to appoint Tony Valenzuela to the board and was second by Chairwoman Gloria Romo. The vote ended 2-2.

Then, Trustee Joong Kim made a motion to appoint Rudy Maldonado and was second by Trustee Norma Aguilar. The vote ended tied 2-2.

Legal Counsel said that if there is not replacement by Feb. 7th then there the Imperial County Office of Education will call for a special election. The board agreed to continue with the application process and have a special meeting to appoint a new board members and interview those candidates.