HAYWARD SCHOOL BOARD Last Wednesday was the last day that both Maribel Heredia and Jesus Armas were Hayward school board members after they decided not to run for re-election shortly after the The Citizen revealed the two were engaged in a secret affair. The presidency of the board, which Armas held, was filled by board member William McGee, who commonly was at odds with Armas while board member Luis Reynoso received no appointed position on the board and even lost his position as clerk, now held by new board member John Taylor.
Last month, The Citizen reported that Reynoso would possibly be seeking the presidency of the board if he could muster enough votes from the new board but last Wednesday Reynoso did not nominate himself for presidency, nor did anyone else. After McGee won his appointment as the board’s president he nominated Reynoso, a common ally on the board, to be his vice president, but Reynoso pulled himself from nomination and abstained on voting not only for a vice president but also for president and clerk.
Instead, newly elected board member, Annette Walker, was nominated to the vice presidential position which she nominated herself for. Walker had also been the one who nominated McGee as president after highlighting the importance of a “strong leadership” for the newly formed board. Lisa Brunner, who has also has sparred with Reynoso at times, nominated herself for board president but received no support.
Reynoso later explained his odd behavior as a strategic move to coalesce a coalition. “I think I’ll get more of their help by being a board member rather than telling them what to do,” said Reynoso. “I left it to the board to decide who should be appointed.” Reynoso further emphasized that the district needs a “complete change of culture,” to help uproot what he’s commonly considered a mishandling of funds and corruption.
Both Reynoso and McGee have been pitted against Armas and Heredia for some time. Neither approved of Armas or Heredia’s affair and further accused them of inappropriate communication directly with staff members of the district, thus circumventing the superintendent, which McGee and Reynoso said was a violation of the education code. “It’s why we can’t trust them,” McGee told The Citizen in October. Both Heredia and Armas will be taking with them controversy that’s been hanging over the board for the past four to five months.
But before Armas and Heredia left they received plaques for their time on the board that some members of the community disapproved of. Reynoso also had previously expressed disdain for the commemorative plaques because of Armas and Heredia’s controversial time with the board.
Armas runs a consulting agency in Hayward still and will likely continue his work with that but as far as his political future is concerned, it is unclear. Armas has been unwilling to speak with The Citizen since it ran the story on his affair with Heredia in July but according to public files he still has a committee for a run as a college trustee in the Los Positas/Chabot College district, which he had previously ran for.
The latest financial filing was made last July with $6,920 dollars racked up. Not much has been done with the account in recent years other than a few donations to non-profit organizations. Whether that money will be used for a run for another elected body (maybe even the college trustee’s again), donated to more non-profits, or invested into a future candidate is uncertain. Armas did previously unload most of his funds from his committee for re-election as a Hayward school board member onto candidate Peter Bufete’s campaign for the school board but he ended up finishing last.