Santa Clara County Board of Education member Darcie Green says she is resigning from the board “to avoid a long, messy legal battle to defend my seat.”
“The right thing to do is resign,” she explains, saying she’s sending a letter to the board at 3pm today.
Green was appointed to the board Oct. 17 of last year to fill a vacancy in Board Trustee Area 6, which was created by the resignation of Craig Mann. New district lines were drawn following Mann’s re-election in 2010.
In making the appointment, the County Board relied on its legal counsel’s opinion that it could appoint a candidate who lived in either the district that existed before redistricting, or the new one. That turned out to be a mistake, according to deputy district attorney John Chase.
Green calls it “a bitter pill to swallow.” She had resigned a seat she was elected to in November 2010 on the Alum Rock Union School District Board of Trustees to accept the county appointment.
“The board thought that it was doing the right thing,” Green says, adding that she doesn’t fault her colleagues.
“We need to take this off the table and not spend any resources on it. There’s no legal defense.”
“Whether they decide to appoint or hold an election, I plan on participating. If they appoint, I hope they’ll consider me,” she continues. “I’ve thought about it every day, and I think this is the right thing to do.”
The following is a letter that Green emailed out this afternoon:
I have always been committed to do what is best for young people in my community and to act to ensure public trust in government. It is with this in mind, that I write this letter.
In October, I applied to the Santa Clara County Board of Education to fill the vacancy left by former Trustee Craig Mann. As you know, I was ultimately appointed. A resident of Alum Rock and elected member of the Alum Rock School District Board of Trustees, I applied based on a call for applicants released by the County Office of Education asking for current residents of the Mount Pleasant, Franklin-McKinley, Alum Rock, and specified areas of the San Jose Unified School District. I participated in what was widely recognized as a transparent, organized, and fair selection process inclusive of all district and community stakeholders. It was an honor to be appointed and it has been an honor to serve the residents of my Trustee Area and this County.
Sometime after my appointment, the validity of the appointment came into legal question. This issue lies in the decision of the Board to appoint a Trustee from the Trustee Area reflective of the 2011 redistricting process and the 2010 Census, rather than the previous Trustee Area Mr. Mann represented. While the decision to appoint from the redistricted Trustee Area happened prior to my appointment, as a member of this Board I want to share in the responsibility to resolve this issue quickly and with the least impact to the County Board of Education, the important work the County Board does, and most importantly, the residents and students of our County.
As a result, I have decided to resign from my appointed position on this Board.
As a friend, you know I remain just as committed to service and to the vision for children expressed by the County Board as I was the day I applied for appointment. I have ensured that my residency will reflect the pre-redistricted Trustee Area boundary and intend to participate in whatever vacancy fulfillment process the Board chooses to use in the future.
The work of this Board and the Office of Education is critically important to the success of students in our County. It is my hope that my resignation will allow the Board to quickly and transparently correct this matter and bring the focus of their efforts back to students in Santa Clara County.
I hope I can count on your support through whatever process – either appointment or election – that the County Board decides to fill this vacancy. Please look for further email updates about how you can help.