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PUSD: Duane Smith Appointed as Trustee

Duane Smith

Congratulations are in order to Duane Smith who was appointed last night by the  Pittsburg Unified School District Board of Trustees  to replace William Wong’s after he announced his resignation.

Smith is a software engineer and has served on the Foothill Elementary school site council for five years and on the District Advisory Committee for two years. Wong resigned because he was moving out of District to San Mateo.

The seven applicants include: Jeliani Killings, Leticia Gomez, Duane Smith, De’shawn Woolridge, Nicholette Miglio, Bruce Croskey and Elizabeth Williams.

This actually doesn’t come as much as a surprise as the Board passed on other perfectly good candidates because during this past November election, Trustees Laura Canciamilla, George Miller, and William Wong (who didn’t vote last night) all endorsed Smith.

It could be argued that Smith had the votes even before the application process opened up. Since Wong did not vote, Smith already had 2 of the 3 votes needed.  While the Trustees will dispute that statement and claim they went into the process with an “open mind”, George Miller’s comments from this past October say otherwise.

George Miller1

In fact, the Board just selected a candidate who the public chose not to elect not only once, but twice!  This past November, Duane Smith received 24.50 % (3,448 votes) as he lost to Joe Arenivar who earned 55.23% (7,773).  In 2010, Smith came in 4th place with 13.79% of the vote (3,196).

So essentially, the Board selected a candidate whom the voters twice rejected.  But that is fine; this is how the appointment process works. The process is over and now  Mr. Smith can use the next year and a half to work on accomplishing his goals before he has to defend the seat in 2014. I hope he will be able to do some good.

Here is a recap of the voting:

Round 1:

  • Jeliani Killings
  • Leticia Gomez
  • Duane Smith
  • De’shawn Woolridge
  • Nicholette Miglio
  • Bruce Croskey
  • Elizabeth Williams

Round 2 (need 1-vote to advance)

  • Jeliani Killings (1)
  • Leticia Gomez (2)
  • Duane Smith (1)

All three then advanced

Round 3

  • What it sounds like here reminds me a lot of what transpired in Antioch which is fine, but looks suspect. Miller made quick motion with Canciamilla issuing the second.  Duane Smith appointed via a 3-1 vote.

While Mr. Smith would not be my first choice, congratulations are in order!

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