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Tip o’ the cap to the TUSD Board of Trustees

POSTED June 28, 2011 8:08 p.m.

I just wanted to extend a tip of the cap to the Turlock Unified Board of Trustees for their proactive approach to forming new trustee districts. I feel they did a fine job of doing it.

More importantly, I’d like to give credit where credit is due for their service and sense of civic duty. This may be a surprise to a lot of people — no one who serves on the Board of Trustees receives payment of any kind. No stipend, no health benefits — absolutely nothing.

These active citizens are responsible for multi-million dollar budgets, must make extremely difficult decisions and are always under the watchful eye of parents, teachers, staff, community and press. They do it all because they care about their community, now and for the future.

Every single trustee either has or at one point had children in TUSD schools. Their service comes with a price, even if they receive nothing in return.

“What people don’t realize is the extreme commitment and costs and sacrifice this is. This takes time away from our family and most people don’t realize it,” said Board President Frank Lima.

Lima couldn’t be more right. In my opinion, these people are the face of democracy and true Americans. Trustee Tami Muniz says on a “good” week (no board meeting) she spends about 10 hours on district work. Now, that may not sound like a whole lot, but if you have a family and commitments to your spouse and children it is a good chunk of time. And then there is the “busy” week, with meetings, tours, conferences, research, and the actual board meeting itself.

While sometimes I personally disagree with the board’s decisions (not often), I do respect their positions and hold each trustee in high regard as citizens and people. I hope that in the future we can count on a board full of people who want to serve rather than those who are appointed.

Under the trustee districts starting in 2013, a district in which no one runs must have a trustee representative appointed by the rest of the board. I hope that someone from the newly formed districts steps up and takes part in democracy, for the health of the district and the children it serves.

To contact Jonathan McCorkell, e-mail jmccorkell@turlockjournal.com or call 634-9141 ext. 2015.

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