Almanac

Viewpoint - June 8, 2011

Letter: Former candidate seeks school board seat

I would like to be considered a candidate to replace Mark Box on the Menlo Park City School District board.

I agree with the fiscally responsible decision to conserve taxpayer money by appointing a trustee rather than having a full election to fill the vacant seat. However, I want to emphasize the important opportunity we have to do so in an open process with an open selection of candidates that may come forward.

As I understand it, our board will be complying with the California School Board Association's recommendation to advertise in the local media to solicit applications or nominations. I would like to state that as a candidate for trustee on the ballot in the last election, I am still interested in serving. Other than a sitting or past board member, I am the only person who has been proven to have widespread support -- I received over 2,700 votes in the last election.

An appointment rather than an election puts the decision entirely in the hands of the current trustees during a transition time. Doing so just one week before a new superintendent takes the helm is questionable. Perhaps it might have been in the best interest of our school district and a sign of respect for incoming superintendent Maurice Ghysels to time this differently.

We have an opportunity to make sure the important decisions we make are done openly and inclusively. The changes and new challenges faced by the district should be addressed in a way that represents the whole population of students and the diverse community of people who live in Menlo Park. I feel that I am in the best position to do so based on my background in business and law plus my stated objectives of balanced representation for all students.

Ana Uribe Ruiz, Lexington Drive, Menlo Park

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