Calexico School Board Up in Arms

By Mario Conde

The Calexico School Board voted to direct the Superintendent to respond to the letter submitted by Martiza Hurtado in regards to the comments made by a School Board Trustee.

Mayor Pro Tem Maritza Hurtado submitted a letter to the Board where she asked a cease and desists to Trustee Joong Kim for comments he made on his Facebook page. Hurtado said that these actions are made with the intent to be defamatory and hurtful towards her business.

Hurtado is a member of the Pathway to Solvency Committee created by CUSD Board President, Ruth Duarte. This committee is composed by several community and business leaders who are looking for solutions to avoid the District to be taken over by the State of California. The Chairman of that committee is Carlton Hargrave and gave a presentation to the board on the March 8th meeting on what the committee has discussed and accomplished so far.

The following day, Trustee Kim posted the following statement on his Facebook wall: “Last night I heard from several teachers saying they started lunching (sic) BOYCOTT FAMILY STYLE BUFFET and BARRONS INCOME TAX”

“Mr. Joong Kim specifically suggests that a boycott of my tax services is being launched by teachers employed within the Calexico Unified School District. His actions are purposely intended to be malicious and hurtful and I seriously believe will directly damage my business’s good name.” Hurtado said in her letter.

Hurtado asked the Board for immediate action and requested Kim to cease and desist from any further slanderous, unethical and unprofessional behavior towards her business.

Associated Calexico Teachers President Enrique Cervantes said that teachers and parents where present to see the Second Interim Financial Report and this item should have never been put on the agenda of open session discussion.  Cervantes denied that the teachers would boycott Family Style Buffet or any other business.

“This is only a spectacle  and we don’t need this.” Cervantes said.

Joong Kim read a statement saying that Maritza Hurtado has influenced the Board of Education to make her personal letter and my Facebook page as their number one priority for the Calexico community and her letter serves no purpose than getting attention for local politics.

“For the record Martiza Hurtado is an elected offical and the Mayor Pro Tem and a member of the the Pathway to Solvency Committee which has secret meetings attended by Ruth Duarte and Norma Aguilar.” Kim said.

Kim said the he posted that statement on Facebook because that is the rumor he heard after that meeting.

After discussion was exhausted, Board President Ruth Duarte made a motion to have Superintendent Richard Fragale respond to Hurtado’s letter stating that the Board rejects the comments  made on Facebook by Mr. Kim.

The Motion passed with Trustee Gloria Romo abstaining and Joong Kim voting against it.