Fresno Unified’s long-time spokesman Miguel Arias will leave his position at the end of this week as he joins the Fresno City Council.
Previously, Arias had planned to hold down both positions, but said he realized that coming in to council as vice president would make additional demands on his time.
Also, the council is expected to take up multimillion-dollar items in the next few months, many of which will affect District 3 in particular, Arias said.
He added that one of his priorities will be pushing for amendments to Fresno’s cannabis policy passed in December. Arias wrote in an op-ed published in The Bee that the policy is one in “which south Fresno gets all the negative impact while the rest of the city benefits from the revenue, leaving our poorest and unhealthiest neighborhoods worse off.”
Arias has been Fresno Unified’s spokesman for 11 years, and has played roles in establishing Parent University and passing the district’s bond measures.
“I’m not going to miss the hours, or the additional weight gain that comes about from the stress, but I will miss the people,” Arias said. “One of the best parts of the job is seeing the results of the work we do in the district office on the campuses and in the neighborhoods.”
He said he will continue to do community advisory work, including serving on the board of a foster agency.
“And I do intend to seek full-time employment soon,” Arias said. “I think it’s better for everyone if I’m not in my office 10 hours a day micromanaging things.”
Arias said he does not expect the district to release a statement on his behalf.
“People leave all the time,” Arias said.