Shelli DeRobertis 5:08 p.m., June 19
Are Too Many Chula Vista Elementary School Board Members Handpicked?
Jill Galvez, a Chula Vista resident and former city council candidate, believes if you want to be a trustee for the elementary school district "you should have to get out there and knock on doors, shake hands, and make your promises to voters face to face." That's why she is disappointed to learn that yet another trustee is going to be appointed.
On March 19 the Chula Vista Elementary school board announced trustee Russell Coronado's resignation, effective March 30. They voted to fill the position rather than hold a costly special election.
The Union Tribune reported on March 20 that three out of the five members initially got on the board through appointment: "Trustee David Bejarano was chosen out of a pool of 39 candidates in 2007 after Cheryl Cox stepped down following her election as mayor of Chula Vista. Luffborough was selected out of 23 applicants in 2009 after Bertha Lopez resigned to serve on the Sweetwater Union High School Board."
Trustee Larry Cunningham was appointed in 1998. After the board fills Coronado's position, four out of the five trustees will have been appointed.
It is common knowledge that incumbents, appointed or not, have advantages. They receive name recognition and are more likely to receive campaign donations. Galvez, among others, believes that in order to avoid having a school board that picks its own members, appointees should agree to serve only as interim trustees and not seek re-election.
Board president, Pamela Smith, was not available for comment.