Charger Woes: Is a $200,000 Special Election Worth it?

On August 25, 2015 I had the fortunate opportunity to participate in the interviewing process for the Trustee Area 3 position vacated by eighteen year member, Donna Miller. I thoroughly enjoyed witnessing the intense process of selection for such a rewarding seat on the Board, even though my vote as a Student Trustee is advisory. As a student member of the Board of Trustees, I do not take my position lightly.

There were five applicants that went through the exact same line of questioning, and each was allotted the same 30 minutes to respond. After four rounds of deliberation, Daniel Billings came out the victor!

Imagine my surprise when I found out that one of the candidates, Al Salehi, is now willing to challenge what was an open, transparent selection process at a cost to the District in the exurbanite amount of over $200,000 by pursuing a Special Election. He inherently has every right to do so, but I sincerely question his motives, due to the potential cost. This would not be just the monetary cost to the District, or the time and energy potentially expended, but he risks losing the respect of the voting members after this appointment is fulfilled. He can eventually run for this position or challenge this appointment “free” of charge to the District when the appointed time has ended.

Maybe Mr. Salehi is not aware of the fact that he can challenge the appointment in the next Official Election November 2016.  Why charge the District over $200,000 when it can cost him an opportunity in his immediate future? If one cares about the District, the community, and the students they potentially serve, why waste the money on a Special Election?  I am not sure I want a candidate serving on the Board with such singular motives.

A petition entitled Student Against a Costly Special Election was generated by students with numerous comments of discontent.

Additionally, the Fullerton College publication The Hornet posted a must read article entitled NOCCCD Board of Trustees Anticipates Special Election with comments from Interim Chancellor Fred Williams, Daniel Billings, Fullerton College Student Trustee Francisco Aviles Pino and Al Salehi.

This issue is of utmost importance!

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