A silent night for two LA Unified board members
Vanessa Romo | January 8, 2014
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For all the passion and discord over how to fill a vacant seat, two of the six LA Unified board members were silent during the board’s hour-long debate last night. Neither the current president, Richard Vladovic, nor his predecessor, Monica Garcia, weighed in, apart from their votes.
Before a 4-2 decision to hold a June 3 special election — with Vladovic and Garcia in the majority — Vladovic spoke only in keeping the trains moving — welcoming speakers, chastising hecklers, asking the audience to keep things civil. He had almost nothing to say about the issues at hand.
Mike Trujillo, his spokesman, said he was committed to facilitating a healthy discussion.
“Dr. Vladovic’s core belief is that democracy was the right thing to pursue and he really didn’t feel as though taking up more time when it was clear every argument from A to Z was laid out,” Trujillo said. “When you take into account those who advocated for an election, all of those arguments that were used encapsulated what Dr. Vladovic was feeling when he made his vote.”
When asked about her lack of participation, Garcia told LA School Report today, “There has been a lot of conversation, done in public over the last five to six weeks. I have said a lot about what I believed and what I thought should be done.”
Given all of the emotion in the room, she added, “I thought the most helpful thing I could do was to keep quiet and support the process.”
Another figure conspicuous by his silence was UTLA president Warren Fletcher, who is running for reelection this year. While two of his challengers addressed the board – Alex Caputo-Pearl and Gregg Solkovits – Fletcher remained in the audience and spoke only through a release issued after the matter had been settled.
“We share the community’s concern that students and parents in District 1 will be voiceless as these crucial votes are taken,” he said. “That said, we look forward to working with parents and the community in supporting a candidate who will represent the area with passion and purpose, as Marguerite LaMotte did for so many years.”