HAYWARD SCHOOL BOARD | Audie Bock, the brazen former Green Party assemblywoman, yelled fiercely at outgoing Hayward school board member, Maribel Heredia last Wednesday during her final speech as a board member with a roaring “Get out of here Heredia!”
Bock was seen sitting in the back physically upset over Heredia’s speech. Heredia spent nearly half her speech praising President Barack Obama’s re-election over Mitt Romney and the Republicans and how it marked a new future for America that’s witnessing a dramatic increase in the minority population. Heredia considered this new future to be representative of the Hayward school district. Bock, whose now a Republican, was seen getting up from her chair muttering loudly, “This is garbage,” before she briefly left the room, stopped for a moment, and then opened up the chamber doors to shout at Heredia. Heredia stumbled for a moment over her words before resuming her speech.
The thundering call for Heredia to leave was a final arrant reminder of Heredia’s suffering political career that’s been under fire since engaging in a salacious affair with fellow board member Jesus Armas. Both board members received plaques upon their departure from the board despite the controversy that plagued the final months of their time on the school board.
A few other members of the audience, frustrated over Armas and Heredia’s affair, were seen leaving the chamber as well whispering to me that they would return after Heredia and Armas were gone.
Last Wednesday was Heredia and Armas’s last day as board members of the Hayward Unified School District (HUSD) and were given an opportunity to give a final speech. Both were recently exposed by this publication for engaging in a secret affair, a potential HUSD by-law and Sunshine law violation. Neither ran for re-election shortly after the story was posted in July. Both were replaced by John Taylor and Annette Walker. Luis Reynoso won re-election as well, a common critic of both Armas and Heredia.
“Heredia is a disgrace to this community!” Bock told The Citizen, “They are no longer board members! They shouldn’t even be allowed to give a speech.” Although Armas and Heredia were stepping down after not running for re-election this season, their replacements had not taken the oath of office yet. Bock apologized for her outburst during public comments.
Bock disclosed that she had supported Heredia for her run for school board in 2008 even donating funds to her campaign. Since then Bock says Heredia has maintained no communication with her despite her support. Another candidate that Bock supported though was board member Luis Reynoso who even swore him in for re-election on Wednesday night as requested by Reynoso.
Bock’s outburst isn’t out of character for the former assemblywoman. She’s been known for stirring up the hornet’s nest in Hayward. Bock was recently elected to the Fairview Fire Protection District (FFPD) Board of Directors to the dismay of the President of the board, Catherine Ortiz-Carden, who told The Citizen that she was warned about Bock’s bellicose attitude.
Bock was upset that she had not been immediately inaugurated because of a vacancy notice posted in September when Mike Preston left the FFPD board, but was temporarily filled by Mike Miraglia. The vacancy notice said that the appointee would serve until November 6, Election Day, but could continue to discharge his or her duties until a successor was qualified. Although Bock’s election results were certified by November 21 the board traditionally swears in its new members on the first Friday of December but Bock entered the board’s work session meeting on November 26 with fury, swearing that the board was not in compliance with its vacancy notice and that she should had been sworn into office that night. The board’s legal counsel, Mary Hernandez, told the board that they did not have to swear in Bock until December 7.
Bock is an interesting character that made headlines in 1998 when she won a seat in the Assembly as the first ever elected Green Party member. Bock said shortly after her election the Green party “drove her out” of the party and the “Democrats turned on her,” when they pitted Wilma Chan, now a member of the Alameda Board of Supervisors, against her and defeated her in 2000. Bock drew some criticism at the time from the Green Party for taking funds from Chevron and Tosco. Bock then sought the Governor’s seat as a Democrat in 2003 during the Gray Davis recall only gaining a little over 3,000 votes.
Bock has made quite a transition over the years switching from the Green Party, to the Democrats and now the Republican Party. She was even endorsed by the struggling, largely unimportant, Alameda Republican Party for her run for FFPD. When she stormed the FFPD work session last month a few members of the Alameda Republican Party were in tow.
Following her lost for re-election for Assembly Bock became more disillusioned with the Democratic Party and eventually made the switch to Republican. But Bock wouldn’t dive into much more detail what encouraged such an ideological shift from the Green Party, commonly considered far left, to the Republicans other than disgruntlement because the Democrats did not support her re-election.
Bock has been window shopping for a political seat in Hayward for years now. She even ran for Hayward Parks and Recreation in 2008 and Hayward School Board in 2010. The relatively unknown FFPD isn’t Assembly but it’s the only elected seat in recent years that Bock had managed to wiggle her way into and bringing with her trademark tongue lashing rhetoric.