School Board Expected to Approve Marquez on Bond Panel
Vanessa Romo | October 8, 2013
When the LA Unified board meets in open session today, only one agenda item is listed for discussion: Abigail Marquez as Mayor Eric Garcetti’s nominee to the 15-member district Bond Oversight Committee.
If approved, which is expected, she would replace former Mayor Antonio Villaraigosa’s representative on the board, Joan Sullivan, who also served as deputy mayor of education.
Marquez’s full time position with the city is as a member of Garcetti’s Education and Workforce team, working with his chief education appointment, Thelma Melendez.
The function of the committee, an all-volunteer group, is to advise the school board on how to spend voter-approved construction bonds. Usually that’s been limited to building projects, repairs, and modernization, but the committee recently approved $30 million for 47 schools in Phase 1 of the district’s iPad program.
A committee consultant, Tom Rubin, said Marquez’s appointment should go through without a hitch; candidates are thoroughly vetted by the district’s ethics committee before they come before the school board for approval.
Once Marquez is approved, Rubin said, he’ll get her up to speed on the issues before the bond committee, including the budget proposal for Phase 2 of the iPad program. The bond committee meets next on Oct. 30, when it will consider spending about $250 million in Phase 2, which would distribute iPads to another 300 LA Unified schools.
“She will definitely have the opportunity to weigh in on the final decision, if she so choses,” Rubin told LA School Report. “We have a lot of key questions, primarily about finance, that we have asked of the district that we are expecting to get answers next week.”