Fernandes Throws Hat in Appointment Field As the Field Fills Out

Fernandes-Alan-HSThe school board will not have a shortage of candidates.  On Thursday we reported that Madhavi Sunder has announced she will be a candidate for appointment, as well as for election in November.  She represents a new face in the race.

For those looking for someone who can step in and immediately catch up to speed, perhaps Former School Board Member BJ Kline, who has moved back to Davis and confirmed he is putting his hat in the ring for an appointment, is your applicant..

His would be a temporary fill, as he told the Vanguard, “My plan is to go for the appointment, I have no interest in a campaign.”

Meanwhile, in November 2012, Alan Fernandes attempted to win the seat that Nancy Peterson won.  He finished third behind incumbent Susan Lovenburg and Nancy Peterson, who took the seat vacated by Richard Harris.

On Friday, the Vanguard received a press release from Mr. Fernandes announcing “his decision to apply and run for the vacant position on the Davis School Board.”

On Monday, April 7, 2014 the Davis School Board voted to fill a vacancy recently created as a result of a trustee resignation.  The Board will be accepting applications and hold a special meeting on May 8, 2014, to appoint an applicant to fill the vacant trustee position.  According to state law and board policy the appointed person will serve as a provisional appointee and must stand for election at the next regularly scheduled election in November to be able to fill the remainder of that term.

“I am applying for a trustee position because the work I set out to accomplish of rebuilding the district for a sustainable future remains,” said Mr. Fernandes. “Our district is at a cross roads with the implementation of the Common Core, the enactment of the Local Control Funding Formula and the recent adoption of the strategic plan.  I believe it is important for there to be representation on the school board from someone who was a part of the important work of the strategic planning committee.  This will ensure that the recently approved mission statement and five-year strategic plan is implemented as intended by the broad cross section of our school community that created it.”

Mr. Fernandes is proud to announce the endorsement of his application and candidacy for the vacancy from community leaders such as Senator Lois Wolk and Supervisors Don Saylor and Jim Provenza, among many other elected officials, community leaders, parents and grandparents of children in our schools.

“I am optimistic about the future of our district and would be honored to serve the people of this community in rebuilding our schools for the future,” said Mr. Fernandes.

When he ran for school board, he was endorsed by Gina Daleiden and Richard Harris (who endorsed all three).  He was also supported by Joe Krovoza, Dan Wolk, Lucas Frerichs and Rochelle Swanson.

Alan Fernandes is a husband and proud father of two young boys. Highlights of his volunteer service in Davis schools include: Member of the DJUSD Strategic Planning Committee; Parcel Tax Citizen’s Oversight Committee; Birch Lane Elementary School Site Council; Superintendent’s Advisory Committee on Special Education; and Classroom volunteer.  In addition to his service in the educational arena, Alan has volunteered in a wide array of community efforts, including: Board Member of Cities, Counties, Schools, a statewide organization focused on finding collaborative projects among local governments; Board Member of Yolo County Suicide Prevention; Davis Little League Coach; and many other activities.

He has a broad range of professional work experience, having worked in both the private and public sector. He has published on topics such as effective government advocacy, including a Law Review Article on the topic of Ethics in Government, and is occasionally requested to speak publicly on these topics. In addition, Mr. Fernandes has served as a pro-bono attorney on multiple occasions, particularly in capacities representing parents or organizations interacting with public schools.

—David M. Greenwald reporting

About The Author

David Greenwald is the founder, editor, and executive director of the Davis Vanguard. He founded the Vanguard in 2006. David Greenwald moved to Davis in 1996 to attend Graduate School at UC Davis in Political Science. He lives in South Davis with his wife Cecilia Escamilla Greenwald and three children.

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  1. Mr. Toad

    I voted for him instead of Peterson and could vote for him again but I just don’t see why you pick someone who has been rejected by the voters and didn’t win a seat in a top two election. Maybe I’m old fashioned but I think that will of the voter thing should be a guidepost.

    1. David Greenwald

      I’m not taking a position for or against Fernandes, but he did have a solid showing and if he had run a second time – and he might yet – whose to say that the voters having become more familiar won’t select him? I think everyone needs to be judged on the merits, not by some vague voter result from 18 months ago.

        1. Mr. Toad

          Actually BJ Kline did before he was voted out coming in fourth in a field of four if I remember correctly. I guess the people voted for him before they voted against him.

  2. Tia Will

    “I think that will of the voter thing should be a guidepost.”

    Two thoughts on this. “the will of the voter” is not immutable. People frequently change their minds as new information is obtained. Also, just because he was not felt by the majority to be the best candidate in one election doesn’t mean he won’t be felt to be the best in a different field.

    1. South of Davis

      Don wrote:

      > Wasn’t he the founder of the ‘friends of the firefighters’ group?

      “Davis firefighters work around the clock to ensure our safety yet they are under attack by a vocal minority in our community,” said member (of “Friends of Davis Firefighters) Alan Fernandes, described in the news release as a Wildhorse resident and community volunteer. Fernandes finished third in the race for two seats on the Davis Board of Education last fall. An attorney, he is a lobbyist for Los Angeles County”


      Another interesting article on Alan:


  3. Mr. Toad

    I disagree with both David and Tia. Its not how our system works beyond partisan politics. Losing candidates for U.S. Senator usually get appointed to something by a president or governor but people who lose for school board not are not generally chosen. The voters might very well change their mind come November but people on here have said we should put on an also ran for various vacancies. I simply disagree.

    From a leadership perspective I think they should choose Sunder because she is exactly what we need at this moment, someone who is both a parent and a teacher. She is obviously much more than that but that is the big divide that must be bridged right now.

      1. Mr. Toad

        No but she hasn’t been rejected by them.

        But anyway I think they should choose her first and foremost because she understands being both a parent and a teacher.

        1. Matt Williams

          But anyway I think they should choose her first and foremost because she understands being both a parent and a teacher.

          Those are selection criteria that I can understand.

  4. Tia Will

    What I would ideally like to see on any elected body is a variety of points of view. While I do not know anything about Sunder and thus cannot address her situation directly, I feel that being both a parent and a teacher does not automatically mean that one will have the interests of “all of the students” at heart. Many parents will, at least on a subconscious level, favor programs that their students participate in. I doubt that it will in the near future ever arise to the level of the Peterson/Crawford drama, however, I think that on a more subtle level, this is very likely to be a factor in a parent with children currently attending public schools. When decisions are being made about financial allocations and program funding, I do not feel that these are trivial concerns.

    1. hpierce

      How much of a variety do you wish? A rich white Republican, a middle income Latino Democrat, a lower income Asian, an upper income Black, and a homeless person?

    2. South of Davis

      Tia wrote:

      > I feel that being both a parent and a teacher does not automatically mean
      > that one will have the interests of “all of the students” at heart.

      Sadly we will never get someone that has EQUAL interest in “ALL of the students”.

      Someone will always care more about the volleyball team, the band members, the gifted kids or the English learners (or not care about the kids at all and only worry about how serving on the school board will help them get money to their friends and/or elected to a higher office)…

      1. Tia Will

        Why would you believe that ? An individual who cares deeply about eduction but has no children currently in the public schools might not have a special interest in any one program but be able to view them with more objective eyes.

      2. Michelle Millet

        I have no problem with a school board member caring about one program/activity over another. What I care about is their ability to advocate for practices and policies that serve the best interest of all students, not just the ones affiliated with their favored one.

    1. wdf1

      Mr. Toad: Or have an altogether weird agenda like Jose Granda, who, I don’t think had any kids in the schools.

      No, but he has had kids in the Davis schools. He is also a teacher (a professor), like Sunder, but at Sac State.

      Your comment above about Ms. Sunder:

      But anyway I think they should choose her first and foremost because she understands being both a parent and a teacher.

      If Mr. Granda were to submit his name for appointment consideration, should he also be considered as highly as Sunder, because he also understand being both a parent and a teacher?

  5. Tia Will

    “criteria for filling the vacancy will necessarily extend beyond being a parent and/or teacher.”

    Well, I certainly hope so. I have been both a parent and have taught undergraduate students at the university level, medical students and residents which in a sense would make me a “teacher”. I hardly think that these experiences alone would make me a good candidate for school board.

  6. Davis Progressive

    alan’s ties to friends of the firefighters precludes my support. it’s too bad really, in a lot of ways he’d be a good board member. but not only is he supporting the firefighters position but he created the friends of organization and his letter to the city and other leaders was dishonest.

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