School Employees Serving on School Boards

Chris Moran:

School employees commonly serve on the governing boards of school districts that don’t employ them. What makes a case in South County different is three administrators’ dual roles at Southwestern College and the Sweetwater Union High School District, because they’re in positions to vote on each other’s budgets and salaries.
Greg Sandoval is interim president of Southwestern and a member of the Sweetwater board. Arlie Ricasa is director of student activities at Southwestern and is on the Sweetwater board. Jorge Dominguez is director of the Educational Technology Department at Sweetwater and a member of the Southwestern board.
The arrangement is legal. Governance ethicists raise questions about appearances, though, especially when the crossover votes occur as close together as they have recently.
How close?
In May, Sandoval joined the majority in a 3-2 vote rejecting $500,000 for Dominguez’s department.