The Hayward Unified School District is moving forward with its attempt to unseat School boardmember Luis Reynoso after he did not respond to a Dec. 30 deadline set by the district to choose whether he will serve on the Hayward school board, which he won re-election last November, or the Chabot-Las Positas Community College Board of Directors, which he also won during the same election.
Reynoso maintains he intends to serve on both boards, despite objections from school administrators and some school board colleagues.
The Hayward school board is slated to discuss removing Reynoso from office at a special meeting scheduled for Tuesday, Jan. 5.
The school board is prepared to formally declare the vacancy of Reynoso’s seat at the meeting. In addition, a timeline for choosing an appointment to the seat, along with a proposed Jan. 25 deadline for applicants, is also being considered on Tuesday evening.
Hayward School Board President April Oquenda offered Reynoso an ultimatum at a Dec. 18 special meeting to choose one office before Dec. 30. The school district asserts Reynoso’s service on both boards violates the state election and education codes and presents a conflict of interest. The authority of the school board and community college district overlap, the school district contends.
Reynoso, however, did not respond, though he has publicly made it clear he intends to serve on both boards. Reynoso won one of three at-large seats on the Hayward school board, and easily won the open Area 1 seat on the community college board. He was sworn-in to both board last month.
“Since you were sworn into the Chabot-Las Positas Board after having been sworn into the HUSD Board, you effectively forfeited your seat on the HUSD Board,” Hayward Superintendent Dr. Matt Wayne wrote in a letter to Reynoso, dated Dec. 30.
The state election and education code asserts in the case of “incompatible” offices held by a single individual, the first seat is forfeited when the same person in sworn-in to the second office. In this scenario, Reynoso’s Hayward school board seat would be forfeited.
But the process of determining incompatibility typically involves a decision by the state attorney general. Hayward school officials, nevertheless, are poised to declare Reynoso’s forfeiture and are beginning the process of choosing his replacement.
The brisk move to seek Reynoso’s replacement without a robust examination of the potential incompatibility of the offices has angered some Hayward residents, especially members of the city’s Latino communities.
Last month, several, including two candidates who were unsuccessful in last November’s school board elections, alleged racism and called out Oquenda (formerly known as April Anderson), fellow school boardmember Ken Rawdon, and Wayne, for attempting to remove a legally elected Latino boardmember.
With roughly with 40 percent of the population, Latinos represent Hayward’s largest racial demographic. Currently, Reynoso is the lone Latino representation on the Hayward school board.