Governing board appoints new member to replace Claffey
In a 5-1 roll call vote, the Governing Board appointed Catherine Ritch to the governing board to replace James Claffey who passed away on Feb. 6.
Trustee McCaffrey was the lone trustee to vote against the motion to appoint Ritch to the governing board.
Ritch will represent Fairfield, Green Valley, Travis Air Force Base, and Cordelia. The seat is up for election in November.
“I’m stunned. I’m very grateful and I will do whatever I can do to help the college,” said Ritch after the meeting.
Ritch acquired the references of Linda Seifert, Solano county supervisor, Gary Stanton, sheriff-coroner for Solano county, and Christina Arrostuto, Executive Director of Solano’s First Five program.
The other potential appointees under consideration were David Brannen, Monica Brown, and Michael Wright.
Prior to the interviews, Mark Taylor, CIS professor and member of the Solano College Faculty Association informed the governing board that the members of SCFA held a vote and Brannen received a majority of the votes; receiving the endorsement of the SCFA.
“[David] has a student point of view, been a member of the governing board during the accreditation dark period a few years ago. He is uniquely qualified [for the position of trustee on the governing board],” Taylor said.
Brannen garnered references from Jesse Branch, current community services officer at the Vacaville center, Tom Henry, former special trustee who was assigned to the governing board due to accreditation problems, and Robert Jensen, former interim president of Solano college.
“The college needs leadership from within. I love this district because it took me from a truck driver to UC Berkeley,” Brannen said in his interview to the governing board.
Currently, Monica Brown is a teacher at Green Valley middle school. Brown garnered references from Michelle Coleman, trustee on the Solano county board of education, Mayrene Bates, trustee on the Solano county board of education, and Helen Tilley former board member on the Fairfield Unified school district.
“If we don’t promote SCC, we are not going to make it. I love the diversity here,” Brown said in her interview to the governing board.
“We need to go lobby and talk with the elected officials,” Brown also said to the board.
The other applicant Michael Wright gathered references from Harry Price, mayor of Fairfield, John Mraz, council member for the city of Fairfield, and Chuck Timm, former council member for the city of Fairfield.
“I believe in being open and transparent to the college,” Wright said to the board during his interview.
“I have a lot of experience reducing expenses. I feel I’m the best candidate from this prospective,” Wright also said to the governing board.
There appeared to be some confusion before the governing board voted. Trustee McCaffrey, through voice conference, attempted to make a motion; however board president Thurston recognized trustee Chapman instead.
Trustee Chapman moved to approve Ritch as the new trustee. The motion was seconded by trustee Keith.
Trustee McCaffrey attempted to make a motion to approve Brannen as the new trustee. Trustee McCaffrey was instructed by board president Thurston that a motion was already under consideration.
After the vote, board president Thurston told trustee McCaffrey that he could make his motion which trustee McCaffrey demurred to do so since a majority of the governing board approved the appointment of Ritch as the new trustee.