The Star-News

Will they won't they?

Sat, Feb 08 2014 12:00 PM Posted By: Carlos R. Davalos

Will they, won't they? Keener observers than I probably knew the answer to this question at the end of January’s Sweetwater Union High School District board meeting.

The full question, of course, is: Will the depleted and damaged school board get its act together long enough to make a decision regarding the vacancy on the governing board?

The decision isn’t who should  fill the seat left empty by former board member Arlie Ricasa, who  resigned last year.

The decision is one about the process.

The board was told Jan. 14 that unless they appointed someone to take Ricasa’s place a special election was the default method of selection.

An election, they were informed, would probably cost more than $1 million.

Left unsaid was that while an appointment process would undoubtedly be cheaper, the current board has about as much credibility as a pathological liar with a heroin habit. No one trusts these people to tie their shoes correctly, much less make an honest appointment to the school board.

Nevertheless, an open selection and vetting process would go a long way in assuaging some of the public’s concerns that a rubber stamping goon would find their way onto the board.

But the board that night couldn’t decide if they wanted the public to vote or if they wanted to take responsibility for naming someone to the position.

Board member Pearl Quinones was out of town and unavailable to weigh in so a plea was made to reach her via Skype, teleconference or whatever means necessary so she could take part in the decision making.

That was three weeks ago. And now we are one week and a couple of days away from deadline.

Will the board have enough time to solicit applications, weed out the good from the bad, conduct public interviews and appoint someone by Feb. 17?

Or will they do nothing?

Will they abdicate the responsibility of choosing a path? Will they refrain from calling for an appointment or endorsing a special election so that, as individuals, they can say it wasn’t their decision? 

Will they fail to demonstrate  leadership by asking their colleagues to make a simple decision — vote or appoint?
Will they wait for the clock to run out and greet Feb. 17 with a shrug of the shoulders and a weak attempt at placing blame elsewhere?

Will they do nothing? And in doing so do something that reinforces current behavior?


Fortunately for them, not a lot of people are fed up or outraged so business can go on as usual.

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