Gavilan’s $248M bond passes by slim margin

Diaz, Wallace and Gonzalez elected to college board

The future is bright for Gavilan College with the passing of a $248 million bond measure Nov. 6 as well as the election of three new members to its governing body.

A combined 57 percent of voters in Santa Clara and San Benito counties (who reside within the boundaries of the Gavilan Community College Joint District) were in favor of Measure X, which needed to reach the 55 percent threshold to pass, according to the posted unofficial results of the Nov. 6 election..

Edwin Diaz

Santa Clara County voters did the heavy lifting with nearly a 60 percent approval rate. In San Benito County, voters were nearly split down the middle with a little more than 51 percent in favor of Measure X—which is earmarked for upgrades to Gavilan’s main Gilroy campus as well as the building of a new San Benito satellite campus and expansion to the Coyote Valley site.

Helping to make those important decisions for Gavilan will be three new trustees to the seven-member board as 64-year-old retired school administrator Edwin Diaz handily defeated incumbent Walter Glines in Trustee Area 3. Diaz received slightly more than 64 percent of the votes, while Glines came in at nearly 36 percent, according to Santa Clara/San Benito County Registrar of Voters.

Jeanie Wallace

Also new to the Gavilan board are Jeanie Wallace and Irma Gonzalez, who both came away as winners in their respective San Benito County trustee areas on election night.

In Trustee Area 5, Wallace, a 60-year-old high school teacher at Ann Sobrato High School in Morgan Hill, ran away with more than 60 percent of votes compared to 39 percent by opponent Richard Perez, a 49-year-old small business owner.

In Trustee Area 7, 60-year-old website designer Irma Gonzalez received a late-night surge to defeat 56-year-old project manager Mike Alcorn in what was a very close race. Gonzalez ended up with 42 percent of the vote, while Alcorn finished with nearly 41 percent. The two were separated by less than 60 votes. Another challenger, 37-year-old Jason Hopkins, who pulled out of the race but too late to have his name removed from the ballot, got 17 percent of votes.

Irma Gonzalez

Diaz, Wallace and Gonzalez will join attorney Laura Perry (TA1), who ran unopposed and was not on the ballot, President Jonathan Brusco (TA2), Vice President Mark Dover (TA4) and Rachel Perez (TA6) on the Gavilan dais.


  1. Superintendent Kathleen Rose came and spoke at our Hollister City council meeting assuring us that the environmental impact reports for the San Benito County Campus had taken extremely long (more than a decade) but were completed. They now appear to be backtracking on the environmental report completion. That’s not transparency, that’s blatant deception… Once again San Benito County taxpayers are getting $crewed. We just authorized over 70 million dollars to build a 52 million dollar campus. Unless they decide to spend our money in another County again.
    Gavilan College misspent our counties money from measure E. They did not receive matching funds to upgrade their library or their theater… so they decided to utilize our voter authorized funds to build a police training academy in Santa Clara County, off campus.
    Their ” new master plan” once again relies upon matching funds from the State. These matching funds are never guaranteed, So based on the previous actions, I am not confident that they will NOW be able to procure matching funds, or utilize our voter authorized funds appropriately or effectively.

  2. The environmental mitigation was complete with the issuance of the Incidental Take Permit form US Fish and Wildlife:

    The District Project list:$file/5YP%20(2020-2021)%20Priority%20List.pdf indicates projected funding sources for different components of the Facilities Master Plan. As you can see, the top project on the list, San Benito County Center, is designated for 100% non-state funds.

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