An unusual note was struck at the conclusion of Wednesday night’s Santa Rosa school board meeting during the usually routine, end of year board re-organization item. It’s typical to re-assign board members to new posts at the conclusion of the year, what is a little less usual is the split vote that occurred for the vice president pick.
After a unanimous vote to make Frank Pugh board president, Trustee Donna Jeye was nominated to be vice president. She seconded the motion herself.
After a pause, Trustee Laura Gonzalez nominated Larry Haenel for the same post. A split vote followed:
Ron Kristof: Haenel
Bill Carle: Jeye
Tad Wakefield: Haenel
Ron Kristof, who was sworn into office just moments before, made his first real vote at the dais count. His was the swing vote that likely puts Haenel in the president’s seat a year from now.
Outgoing president Bill Carle said the rare split vote doesn’t bode ill for the working relationship of the newly formed board.
“I don’t think it portends anything,” he said. “It certainly suggests that (Larry) Haenel would be president next year.”
Carle said he did not know that the board would be divided on the matter.
“Reorganization of the board is not anything we can spend any time talking about beforehand because of the Brown Act,” he said.
Jeye offered immediate congratulations to Haenel after the vote.