Gav board launches effort to recruit new member

Gilroy – The Gavilan College Board of Trustees is looking for a new member to fill a vacancy left by James De La Cruz, who resigned from the board due to his recent appointment to the San Benito County Board of Supervisors.

In a unanimous vote Tuesday, the board approved appointing a new member rather than conduct a special election.

The college is organizing a campaign to be unveiled Jan. 25 to recruit individuals interested in applying for the position. The campaign will include advertisements in local newspapers and a page on Gavilan’s Web site,

The ads will provide a full list of board member duties as well as information on how to apply. Applicants will be asked to send the college a letter of interest, a resume and a completed questionnaire. Applications will be accepted through Feb. 15, and an applicant will be appointed at a public meeting March 8 by a majority vote of the current board.

The position covers San Benito County, and the term will last until November 2006. The board holds its regular meetings at 7pm every second Tuesday of the month at Gavilan’s Gilroy campus, 5055 Santa Teresa Blvd.

Among other responsibilities, board members are expected to attend all meetings and some college events, study issues and agenda items and participate in trustee education programs. Board members also should be knowledgeable about the communities the college serves – Gilroy, Morgan Hill and San Benito County – as well as the educational, social and economic policy issues of community colleges. Meanwhile, De La Cruz, who faced four felony counts of election fraud and three misdemeanor charges including threatening a police officer, pleaded no contest Tuesday to one new misdemeanor charge as part of a plea bargain that will require the supervisor to serve 40 hours of community service and pay a fine.

De La Cruz wound up pleading no contest to obstructing or delaying a police officer.

De La Cruz said he considers the deal a victory n an election battle that began in March when he beat San Benito County Supervisor Bob Cruz by 10 votes.

Katie Niekerk covers education for The Dispatch. Reach her at 847-7097 or [email protected]