Did you know there was a vacancy on the Board of Trustees for Yosemite Community College District?
Didn’t think so. The college sent out a press release on Jan. 12, but apparently it was suffocated in the daily avalanche of emails that arrive daily at The Bee and every other media outlet in the region. We couldn’t find notice of the vacancy anywhere.
District 7 Trustee Jon Rodriguez – who represents the district that includes South Modesto, most of Ceres and Keyes – resigned as of Dec. 31. The board decided at a Jan. 10 meeting to appoint a replacement, putting the process in motion.
Unfortunately, the board set an incredibly tight time line. Applications are due Thursday, Feb. 1 by 5 p.m. If you want to serve, there’s no time to waste.
To be appointed, you must live in the district. The map on YCCD’s website isn’t much help determining exact boundaries, so you’ll have to call 209-575-6509 to find out if you meet the residency qualifications. The interim trustee will serve at least until after the next election in November, when voters will choose someone to fill out the last two years of Rodriguez’s term.
The YCCD board of trustees isn’t glamorous, but it is extremely important. It sets policy and goals for two colleges across three major campuses (MJC East and West and Columbia College) and several satellite locations serving three counties. With 27,000 students, it has the largest enrollment of any higher-educational entity in our region. Its budget is roughly $50 million each year.
The District 7 seat is especially important, with a high concentration of disadvantaged students and those who attend classes to acquire and improve skills. They deserve a strong voice on the board.
Since this one slipped under so many radars, we believe the board should extend the application period by two weeks. Finding a good fit is too important to rush the process.