Davis School Board to Fill Vacancy Left by Cindy Pickett – 15 People Apply

Davis – Cindy Pickett has announced she will vacate her seat effective next Tuesday, June 30.  On Thursday of this week, the school board will be acting to fill out her term, which expires at the end of 2022.

On June 4, the board decided to make that appointment rather than hold a special election, but state law requires them to act within 60 days of the vacancy.

As was the case in 2018, when the board did a temporary appointment to fill Madhavi Sunder’s seat, a large number of candidates have emerged to fill that vacancy—those include Joy Klineberg who was selected last time to fill the seat, and a few others who applied in 2018 along with a number of fresh faces, some of whom will be familiar names to those who have been in the community.

This is the third vacancy since 2014.  In 2014, Nancy Peterson resigned following the volleyball scandal.  Alan Fernandes was appointed that spring in her place.  He then won a two-year seat in the fall and a four-year seat in 2016.

In 2018, Madhavi Sunder resigned in August to take a position at Georgetown Law School.  Joy Klineberg was appointed to fill the seat but did not run for the school board.  Cindy Pickett and Joe DiNunzio were elected to open seats held previously by Sunder and Barbara Archer.

Now Cindy Pickett is taking a job at DePaul less than two years into her term.  The board has the time to take a number of routes on Thursday, including winnowing the number of applicants to a smaller number and having a second round in a week or two.

They have until August 29 to officially fill the seat.

Meanwhile, there are two seats up for election in November, including Bob Poppenga’s in South Davis where he just announced he will not be running for a second term.  Alan Fernandes will presumably be seeking another term.

Here are the candidates and linked are their questionnaires:

  1. Asmundson, Vigdis Trustee Application 2020
  2. Benson, Stacy Trustee Application 2020
  3. Clark, John Trustee Application 2020
  4. Darrah, Leah Trustee Application 2020
  5. Flamick, George Trustee Application 2020
  6. Fulp-Cooke, Rachael Trustee Application 2020
  7. Haskell, Cathy Trustee Application 2020
  8. Hope, Andrea Trustee Application 2020
  9. Jackson, Hiram Trustee Application 2020
  10. Klineberg, Joy Trustee Application 2020
  11. Mauro, Kristin Trustee Application 2020
  12. Memmott, Maggie Trustee Application 2020
  13. Panigrahi, Swapna Trustee Application 2020
  14. Taylor, Christine Trustee Application 2020
  15. Williams, Sarah Trustee Application 2020

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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. Bill Marshall

      What do you mean, “we”, kemo sabe?  Except for applications, this is NOT a public process… also, raises an interesting potential COI issue… should Pickett recuse herself from discussions and votes?  Picking your successor… iffy…

      1. David Greenwald

        That’s not quite true – you could speak during public comment. You’re not the decision maker, that’s true. But it is a public process.

        1. Bill Marshall

          Get real… DJUSD ‘public comment’ is more limited than CC… generally, “token”…

          But, good answerve on the potential COI issue…

      2. Cindy Pickett

        At the beginning of the process of filling the vacancy left by my departure, I announced that I would be abstaining from any votes on the process of choosing a replacement and from any votes relating to deciding on an appointee. The videos of the last two school board meetings show that I have indeed abstained. I did, however, state that as Board President I felt that I still had a role to play in moderating the discussion among the trustees and ensuring that a smooth voting/vetting process ensues.


    2. David Greenwald

      There are a lot of great candidates on there.  One thing to keep in mind – Cindy is the only woman, and only person of color on the board.

      1. Bill Marshall

        Good answer to Matt’s question… seriously… only women of color need apply… darn good litmus test to fill a Board position for 2+ years, and will quickly winnow the field… Pickett is part Philipina… there is one applicant, at least, to fill that void (and, I think she’d be a good choice)…

        But Matt, as David implies, ethnicity and gender should be much more a ‘test’, than experience, motivation, goals.  You got your answer, Matt.

        1. Keith Olsen

          ethnicity and gender should be much more a ‘test’, than experience, motivation, goals

          That’s how it’s shaping up for another big race coming in Nov.

        2. David Greenwald


          I said: “One thing to keep in mind – Cindy is the only woman, and only person of color on the board.”

          Bill responds: “Good answer to Matt’s question… seriously… only women of color need apply… ”

          Bill you seem rather easily triggered on this point given the limited nature of my comment.

        3. Todd Edelman

          Yeah, no inference there, for sure… my bad…

          David didn’t imply in ANY way that Cindy’s only relevant qualities were that she’s a woman and a person of color.

        4. Bill Marshall

          It was about the replacement board member, Todd…  elected by 4-5 folk (no one has yet answered whether Pickett should recuse… I find that interesting)

          Cindy Pickett served well, even if short (< 1/2 way thru the term she was elected for)… did not question that… AND she was elected…

          This replacement will not be “elected”… if you cannot see the differences, I cannot help you…

          David knows that this is not a true election… yet, he tries to influence… which is his right…

          1. David Greenwald

            I’m sorry but the last line is completely false. I cannot imagine a more benign statement that I made getting blown out of all proportions.

  1. Ron Glick

    Its an amazing list of talented people willing to serve. I’m grateful to them for answering the call.

    My only reservation is that anybody who would want the job, with eyes wide open, when the district is facing a multi-million dollar budget shortfall, should gives us pause. Whoever is chosen is going to need to make some difficult budget choices right out of the gate. They are likely going to be voting to approve layoffs. Why anyone would volunteer under these circumstances is a mystery to me.

    Colby is out, Pickett is out, Poppenga is out. Really smart people are bailing out. The budget is going to be a mess for years.  Good luck to whoever is chosen.



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