Wendy Alexander/The Madera Tribune
Madera Unified Superintendent Ed Gonzalez, left, administers the oath of office to newly elected and re-elected trustees, from center left, Ricardo “Ric” Arrendondo, Ray Seibert and Ruben Mendoza during a meeting Tuesday night.
Galvez retains his gavel; Mendoza sworn in
A new trustee joined Madera Unified’s school board in its annual swearing-in ceremony Tuesday night. Ruben Mendoza, along with veterans Ricardo Arredondo and Ray Seibert took the oath of office administered by Superintendent Ed Gonzalez in front of a packed house in the school district’s boardroom.
Mendoza won the Area 3 seat vacated by Robert Garibay. He ran unopposed. Arredondo defeated former trustee Lynn Cogdill for the Area 6 seat, and Ray Seibert won the Area 1 contest over challenger Luis Carrillo.
After the swearing-in, trustees got right down to business and elected their leaders for the next calendar year. They chose to give Board President Al Galvez the gavel again.
It is the second time in recent history that a board president has served two consecutive terms.
Prior to Galvez, trustee Ricardo Arredondo was given the president’s gavel two years in a row.
By tradition, Madera Unified’s board clerk moves into the president’s chair in December of each year.
That tradition was thwarted this year, however, due to the departure of Clerk Robert Garibay who retired from the board.
To fill the clerk’s post, the board moved trustee Ed McIntyre into that position for the coming year.
With no other names put into contention, the vote on both trustees was unanimous.
In other matters, for the 16th time this year, the board notified the public, through its posted agenda, of its intent to evaluate its superintendent.
The evaluations, which were held in closed session, began in January 2016 and continued through the board’s meeting Tuesday.
Gonzalez and some members of the board have been at odds, especially over the creation of a building fund to help meet the financial needs of constructing additional school facilities.
Recently Gonzalez spoke plainly to the board over the issue, telling trustees, “I need to say something, because I have sat here long enough. I feel like I am in an arm wrestling match every time we have a board meeting, and it’s getting a little old.”
“The board hired me to be the CEO of the district. They asked me for a plan. We worked on it for a year, now we have a different idea at the eleventh hour.”
Gonzalez is working under a contract that runs until June 30, 2018.