Galvez emerges a political player as school trustees give him gavel again

Madera Tribune File Photo

Al Galvez.


Any doubts that Al Galvez is gaining political clout were put to rest on Dec. 12 when Madera Unified School District trustees voted to make Al Galvez school board president for the third year in a row.

The unprecedented move came as Galvez prepares to make a run for the for the District 2 seat of the Madera County Board of Supervisors in 2018.

Galvez has been honing his political skills in recent years.

In 2009, he was appointed to the Madera Unified Personnel Commission, and in 2012 was elected to serve on the Madera County Board of Education.

In 2014, he ran unopposed for a seat on the Madera Unified school board. At the time he was quoted as saying, “I don’t bring an agenda; I don’t bring ego, and I don’t owe anyone any favors. I just want to help build the reputation of MUSD. I want to make Madera Unified the leader that it should be so that when we talk about schools, it is not always about other schools.”

When Galvez came on the Madera Unified school board, it was troubled with disharmony. A rigid 4-3 split characterized almost every important vote. When he was elected president at the end of his first year as trustee, the mood began to change and the old alignments began to dissolve.

That move toward equanimity was threatened when the board fired the popular Ed Gonzalez as superintendent, but the political bullet was dodged when the board, under Galvez’ leadership, appointed the equally popular Todd Lile to replace Gonzalez.

At this point, the public rancor that was so often expressed at school board meetings before Galvez’ ascendancy to the president’s chair is gone. If any personal animosity exists between trustees, it is now confined to executive sessions.

Galvez will face District 2 incumbent David Rogers for the seat on the Board of Supervisors in the June 2018 primary.