Fresno Unified seats new trustee De La Cerda

The Fresno BeeNovember 14, 2012 

The Fresno Unified School District board welcomed its newest member, Christopher De La Cerda, in a brief swearing-in ceremony Wednesday evening.

De La Cerda, 47, was appointed by trustees last week to fill the McLane High area seat. He replaces Tony Vang, who resigned in September after a months-long controversy over whether Vang lived in the McLane High area.

In taking his seat at the dais, De La Cerda, a former teacher, said he was thankful for the opportunity to serve the community. "I hope to do so with dignity, integrity and with the voice of the community," he said.

At the time of his appointment, Eva Ruiz, president of the Fresno Teachers Association, and Mai Summer Vue, an elementary teacher, voiced objections, saying people in the community should have the right to fill the seat by special election.

On Tuesday, county schools and elections officials said they had received inquiries about a challenge to the appointment, but Ruiz and Vue said they had not made them.

Ruiz presented De La Cerda with a bouquet of flowers Wednesday evening as he took his seat on the board.

Anyone who wants a special election can file a petition with Fresno County Schools Superintendent Larry Powell, but the petition must be filed no later than Dec. 7, or 30 days after De La Cerda's appointment. Powell would then have 30 more days to validate the petition.

If Powell called a special election, De La Cerda would immediately be removed from the trustee post, and it would remain vacant until an election was held and certified.

De La Cerda said after the board meeting Wednesday that he would like to meet with anyone who has concerns.

He would not stand in the way of an election, he said, but he then would have to consider whether he would run for office.

The reporter can be reached at (559) 441-6310, banderson@fresnobee.com or @beehealthwriter on Twitter.

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