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Arredondo resigns from MUSD board

For The Madera Tribune

Ricardo Arredondo.


Madera Unified School District trustee Ricardo Arredondo has announced his resignation from the MUSD school board effective Friday, Aug. 2.

In a statement issued by the 10-year school board veteran, Arredondo announced he would run for the District 4 seat on the Madera County Board of Supervisors now held by Supervisor Max Rodriguez.

Arredondo was first elected to the Madera Unified Board in 2009. Two years later his fellow trustees gave him the president’s gavel, and he quickly signaled that it would not be business as usual on his watch. An updated governance manual and a determination by the new president to streamline the way the board conducted its business in public resulted in less “bird walking” during discussions by board members and fewer interruptions from the audience.

The new modus operandi came in sharp contrast to that of former board president Robert Garibay, who allowed the public considerable opportunity for input but resulted in longer meetings.

Arredondo’s tightening up of the procedural reins brought general approval, and the next year he was chosen as board president again in a surprise move.

In a departure from the tradition in which the clerk of the school board usually moved to the presidency in each year’s reorganization, trustees passed over its clerk, Michael Salvador, to give the president’s gavel for a second year in a row to Arredondo.

The 4-3 vote came after then Superintendent Gustavo Balderas, unaware that Arredondo would remain president of the board for another year, presented a plaque to the “outgoing president.”

When the board then turned to selecting its leadership for 2013, Trustee Lynn Cogdill took the floor to nominate Arredondo for a 2nd term as president. Murmurs of surprise rippled across the board room at this move because Cogdill had had numerous verbal, public battles with Arredondo over the rigidity with which he was perceived to govern the board meetings. In an obvious change of heart, Cogdill said he now favored Arredondo for the stability he brought and would continue to bring to the school district.

The news of Arredondo’s resignation carried with it “a sense of sadness and excitement” as he announced his idecision.

“I am sincerely grateful for the community support and counsel that I have received over the years,” Arredondo said. “My accomplishments as a trustee came to pass through collaboration with my colleagues. Our board and superintendent are working together as never before. We have a dynamic team of administrators that are setting high standards, and the cooperative spirit is bearing fruit. Test scores are rising. The district is pulling together in the belief that we will soon be among the highest performing school districts in the state. At this time, I am comfortable stepping away from my post and leave the district in capable hands.

If elected supervisor, I will continue working to improve our community through sensible and sound governance. Together, we are stronger. Together, we can build a robust economy and infrastructure that will lead to a prosperous community.”

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