A tip came in Monday afternoon that Andrea Flores Shelton, formerly a deputy chief of staff for Supervisor George Shirakawa, would get the nod as Alum Rock school district’s new trustee. In the end, that’s exactly what happened.
Dozens of community members attended Monday’s special meeting to appoint a replacement for Darcie Green, who moved over to the county’s Board of Education last month. Attendees at Monday night’s meeting criticized the process as rushed and undemocratic, although some people did speak in favor of Flores Shelton’s credentials. Patricia Martinez-Roach was another candidate floated as a possible replacement for Green on the Alum Rock board, but she pulled out of contention in advance.
Karen Martinez, who defeated trustee Esau Herrera for the second trustee seat up for grabs in the last election, criticized the board Monday night for not delaying a decision until after her appointment next month. Her constituents, she said, were the ones being silenced.
Jaime Alvarado, of Somos Mayfair, said his coalition of opponents to the selection process will meet Tuesday afternoon to decide if petitions should be gathered to challenge Flores Shelton’s appointment. The cost of petition gathering and holding a special election for the board seat would be substantial.
“I think a lot of people saw her as a viable candidate, but I don’t know,” Alvarado said. “A lot of people thought it was decided up front.”