Wednesday, January 12, 2011

New chair and vice chair, and thoughts about the Gold Street project

Yesterday we elected Don Gage as Chair and Linda Lezotte as Vice Chair, and I'm looking forward to their leadership. I also look forward to Patrick Kwok taking a leadership role in 2012 as Vice Chair and 2013 as Chair.

Three of the seven directors thought that given Director Kwok's long experience, he should be Vice Chair this year instead of 2011. I think that's a very reasonable argument, but given that the continuation of the existing rotation system that will start again in 2012 means that Director Lezotte will be Chair, it makes more sense that she be Vice Chair this year.

I very much appreciate a memo and statement by Director Kwok that in effect says there was no racial issue involved in whether he or Director Lezotte should be Vice Chair this year. I agree with him. Similarly, I wrote a Letter to the Editor to the Mercury News that said honest disagreements like these don't split us into camps of reformers and non-reformers, and I will work to avoid any split.

Finally, we reconsidered the Gold Street Educational Center in Alviso, and on a 3-3 vote, considered moving the project to the County Marina but did not do so (a tie vote means the motion fails and the originally-approved project moves forward). I was one of the three voting to move the project - I thought the cost savings that strongly favor the County Marina location outweighed the other factors that favor the Gold Street location, but I think the contrary view is reasonable. This issue has now been dealt with by multiple Boards of Directors, and I think it's finished.