Please ensure Javascript is enabled for purposes of website accessibility
Reversal: Voters Will Now Pick New Fresno Schools Trustee. It Will be a Long Wait.
gvw_nancy_price
By Nancy Price, Multimedia Journalist
Published 3 years ago on
August 12, 2021

Share

In a somewhat surprising reversal, the Fresno Unified School Board decided Wednesday night to schedule an election so Fresno High voters could choose the next Area 5 trustee.

The 6-0 decision came only a week after the School Board, in a split vote, moved forward with a plan to give trustees the authority to appoint a successor to Carol Mills, who died on July 21. Trustees Veva Islas and Terry Slatic voted no on the appointment proposal.

Trustees who voted in favor of appointing a new trustee had noted that it would fill the seat more quickly than an election.

Under state Education Code, the board would have had 60 days from Mills’ death to make the appointment, which would have seated the new trustee by mid-September. An election can not be held before April 12, 2022, according to state law.

Over the past week, Trustee Claudia Cazares said, Fresno High residents made it clear through email and other contacts that they wanted to choose their representative through an election. “We are listening,” she said.

‘Doing the Wrong Thing’

Trustee Keshia Thomas said she reconsidered the appointment plan after thinking about whether the voters in her Edison High Area 1 would want to elect their trustee or have an appointment made.

“After further evaluating what my people in my area may want, it did feel like I was doing the wrong thing,” she said. “So we are now all aboard. We’re all doing the right thing. And that’s all that really matters. So we will be having an election.”

“So all that name-calling and all that bad talking was unnecessary,” board President Valerie Davis, apparently in response to board critics, said before calling for the vote.

The pressure that Fresno High voters applied to board members after last week’s special board meeting apparently made Wednesday’s reversal a done deal, because only one person from the community was on hand to speak in support of electing an Area 5 trustee.

Andy Fabela, a Fresno High resident, was thanking Islas and Slatic for being the “first ones” to be respectful of Mills in supporting an election when he was interrupted by Thomas, with whom he has skirmished in the past at the podium.

Their brief squabble was squelched by Davis, who asked Fabela to direct his comments to the entire board.

Fabela said his efforts to collect signatures to overturn the appointment of Christopher De La Cerda after the resignation of Trustee Tony Vang in 2012 was “my tribute to the McLane High Area … because I didn’t think it was right then and I wouldn’t think it was right now.”

Finishing the Term

The winner of the April 12 election will fill the remainder of Mills’ four-year term, which expires in 2024. Mills had won election to her fifth term in November 2020. Soon afterward, the symptoms of ALS, or Lou Gehrig’s disease, started to become apparent in her speech and later when she appeared in public using a wheelchair and speaking through a computer-generated voice.

At the start of Wednesday’s meeting, Davis noted Mills’ long service to the district and then in a choked voice asked for a moment of silence in her honor. Superintendent Bob Nelson said that a public memorial service is scheduled for 10 a.m. Aug. 28 at Fresno High’s historic Royce Hall.

He unveiled a tribute video prepared by the district’s communications department depicting Mills with fellow trustees, superintendents, and community members over the years.

WATCH: Fresno Unified Tribute to Trustee Carol Mills

Carol Mills Tribute from Fresno Unified on Vimeo.

RELATED TOPICS:

DON'T MISS

Tesla Is Planning to Lay Off 10% of Its Workers After Dismal 1Q Sales

DON'T MISS

Alton Brown Wants to Find Good Eats in Fresno

DON'T MISS

The Latest | World Leaders Urge Israel Not to Retaliate for the Iranian Drone and Missile Attack

DON'T MISS

Career Technical Ed, Pre-K Could Be Hardest Hit in Budget Cuts

DON'T MISS

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

DON'T MISS

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

DON'T MISS

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

DON'T MISS

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

DON'T MISS

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

DON'T MISS

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

UP NEXT

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

UP NEXT

16 Clovis Students Rewarded With Scholarships for Their Resilience

UP NEXT

Reacher Star Alan Ritchson Calls Donald Trump a ‘Rapist’

UP NEXT

Community Leaders Call for Transparency in Fresno Superintendent Search

UP NEXT

Several Writers Decline Recognition From PEN America in Protest Over Its Israel-Hamas War Stance

UP NEXT

US Consumer Sentiment Falls Slightly as Outlook for Inflation Worsens

UP NEXT

Tennessee Lawmakers Send Bill to Ban First-Cousin Marriages to Governor

UP NEXT

Instagram Blurs Nude Messages to Protect Teens, Fight Sexual Extortion

UP NEXT

Harvard Again Requiring Standardized Test Scores for Those Seeking Admission

UP NEXT

Bob Nelson Breaks Silence on Fresno Unified Superintendent Search

Nancy Price,
Multimedia Journalist
Nancy Price is a multimedia journalist for GV Wire. A longtime reporter and editor who has worked for newspapers in California, Florida, Alaska, Illinois and Kansas, Nancy joined GV Wire in July 2019. She previously worked as an assistant metro editor for 13 years at The Fresno Bee. Nancy earned her bachelor's and master's degrees in journalism at Northwestern University's Medill School of Journalism. Her hobbies include singing with the Fresno Master Chorale and volunteering with Fresno Filmworks. You can reach Nancy at 559-492-4087 or Send an Email

Career Technical Ed, Pre-K Could Be Hardest Hit in Budget Cuts

38 mins ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

1 day ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

1 day ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

2 days ago

Merced Supervisors Accused of ‘Triple Crown Race’ of Failures Amid Talk of Closing Fire Stations

2 days ago

Teacher Appreciation Week Surprises That Educators Will Love

2 days ago

A Mission of Mercy, Then a Fatal Strike: How an Aid Convoy in Gaza Became Israel’s Target

2 days ago

Walberg Era Begins With a Charge to ‘Revolutionize’ Bulldogs Basketball

3 days ago

California Man Sentenced to 40 Years to Life for Fatal Freeway Shooting of 6-Year-Old Boy

3 days ago

Tesla Is Planning to Lay Off 10% of Its Workers After Dismal 1Q Sales

DETROIT — After reporting dismal first-quarter sales, Tesla is planning to lay off about a tenth of its workforce as it tries to cut costs, ...

10 mins ago

10 mins ago

Tesla Is Planning to Lay Off 10% of Its Workers After Dismal 1Q Sales

13 mins ago

Alton Brown Wants to Find Good Eats in Fresno

20 mins ago

The Latest | World Leaders Urge Israel Not to Retaliate for the Iranian Drone and Missile Attack

38 mins ago

Career Technical Ed, Pre-K Could Be Hardest Hit in Budget Cuts

1 day ago

How California Legislators Got More Than $1.4 Million in Travel and Gifts in 2023

1 day ago

‘Digital Democracy’ Project Penetrates California’s Opaque Political Processes

2 days ago

US Shoots Down Iran-Launched Attack Drones as Biden Team Pledges ‘Support’ for Israel

2 days ago

Sacramento Gave Homeless Camp a Lease as an Experiment. Here’s What Happened.

MENU

CONNECT WITH US

Search

Send this to a friend