Tami Muniz was appointed to the Turlock Unified School District (TUSD) Board of Trustees about four years ago but had just finished a campaign for re-election that she lost.
At Monday night’s TUSD Special Board Meeting, Tami Muniz found herself in a familiar spot as she sought to be appointed back onto the Board to fill the vacancy left by Lori Crivelli who resigned shortly after being elected in November 2009 due to possible conflicts of interest.
The TUSD Board held the Special Board Meeting to interview applicants who were seeking to fill the vacancy left by Lori Crivelli’s resignation.
Six applications for appointment were screened by a committee comprised of three Trustees to review and select recommended applicants to interview in public at a Special Board Meeting on Monday, February 1, 2010 at 6:00pm.
The TUSD Board of Trustees interviewed Mr. David Folly, Mr. Mark Gharibian, Mr. Eulalio Martinez and Mrs. Tami Muniz for the Provisional Board Appointment which will run through November 2011 when the regular election process will take place.
Before the Board were 4 qualified applicants and only one open seat.
The interview process consisted of four questions presented in alternating order to each applicant for response as the Board was looking to what extent the candidates may serve (in their mind).
The questions and answers included:
1- Please give a thumbnail sketch of your personal and occupational background and indicate how you believe your background experiences will help you serve as a member of the Board.
Mr. Martinez, a construction labor representative, remarked on his history with the Marine Corps and the teamwork it teaches along different construction work he has been associated with. Martinez believed his ability to work as a team was what he believed he would most bring to the Board.
Mrs. Muniz, a Foster Farms customer service specialist, explained her previous involvement with her school aged children, PTA, Turlock Youth Soccer Association but drew on her previous experience as a Trustee for the last 4 years.
Mr. Gharibian, a Gallo Winery programmer analyst, referenced his masters in business administration and his TUSD education. Gharibian believed he could lend to the Board some expertise in efficiency along with his familiarity with the school district.
Mr. Folly, a Logitech director, also referenced his Turlock roots and degree in business administration. Folly stated his interest is really his children and referenced his positions as Chair of the Walnut Site Council, Chair Measure Z Oversight Committee, and a member of the Measure Y. Folly said that his business and educational experience makes him very well suited to serve as a TUSD Board Trustee.
2- Please indicate what prompted or motivated you to apply for this position on the Turlock Unified District Board of Trustees.
3- Please identify a personal or professional accomplishment that has given you the most satisfaction.
4- Please indicate what you believe are the priority needs of the District and its schools and what experiences or ideas you have that would assist the District in meeting those needs.
All candidates seemed to agree the biggest priority was managing the approximate $3 million gap for the next fiscal year.
Folly felt that efficiency and process streamlining could be analyzed as he has done in his professional role.
Martinez suggested looking at outside funding possibilities such as grants and stated that he has experience that could assist in that.
Muniz referenced her previous TUSD Board experience with balancing the District’s budget during hard times and feels that working with all vested parties needs to continue.
Gharibian also stated looking at efficiency and process could bring benefit and that his professional experience of problem solving would help.
Trustee John Simms asked if appointed, would the applicants run for election in two years. All the applicants said that they would.
Trustee Bob Weaver asked the applicants if they could put aside personal belief for the good of the District, for example, banning a controversial book.
Basically, all the applicants said that they could but that it would be a case by case situation. Martinez said that team work on the Board and the public’s input would come into factor and that he could contribute to a decision. Muniz said that she would absolutely do it and has done it in the past while she’s willing to do it in the future. Folly stated that objectivity is the cornerstone trait in this role and environment. Gharibian stated that it would have to be analyzed on a case by case situation and as long as it wasn’t a matter of right and wrong for him, that he would be able to be a team player for the good of the District.
After all of the questions were answered, there was a tally taken to rank the candidates 1st to 4th:
1- Tami Muniz
2- Mark Gharibian
3- Dave Folly
4- Eulalio Martinez
After a second round of tallying was taken between Tami Muniz and Mark Gharibian, a unanimous vote for Mrs. Tami Muniz to be appointed to the seat was made.
The TUSD Trustees reiterated that they were very pleased with the all the applicants and encouraged them all to run for election if they really desired serving on the Board. References toward past appointment rejection of current TUSD Board Members were made as examples of persistence.
“I feel we did this as fair as we could to all the applicants,” said TUSD President Frank Lima.
Tami Muniz said “I just can’t wait to get back to work on the Board.”
Tami Muniz will be seated at Tuesday’s February 2, 2010 Board Meeting to be held at the THS Performing Arts Building (1600 E. Canal Drive) at 5:30pm.