As the buildings are beginning to be identified for the Pre-K 4 SA initiative approved by San Antonio voters in November, city council is busy making their selections for the 11-member board of directors.
So far, Dist. 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor, Dist. 3 Councilwoman Leticia Ozuna, Dist. 5 Councilman David Medina, Dist. 8 Councilman Reed Williams and Dist. 10 Councilman Carlton Soules have not indicated who they are nominating. Previously, Dist. 9 Councilwoman Elisa Chan said she was leaning toward selecting Northeast ISD board president Susan Galindo; however, guidelines for the board rule out that possibility, leaving her to start over.
This week, Dist. 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña chose San Antonio Chamber of Commerce president, and former city councilman, Richard Perez as his pick.
"This is going to be a big program for the city of San Antonio," said Saldaña. "It's going to have its fingerprints on the future of our city. Realizing that, he [Perez] said, 'How long is the commitment?' Because he wants to obviously still continue to do a wonderful job in the work that he's doing at the Chamber."
Perez said there is no better way to make sure the measure stays on track than having representation from the Chamber. He said his goal is to be transparent and hopes he can help make a difference. He admitted that his schedule was a bit of a concern.
"We're going to make decisions that are in the best interest of this community, and I can assure you of this, if this thing is not working, then we're going to change or it's going to go away in eight years and we're going to do something else,” he said. “At the end of the day, those resources are necessary and we could use them for a whole bunch of other things, too. I think we picked the right place to put them but now we need to make sure we're using them in the right way."
Dist. 7 Councilman Cris Medina has chosen former Northside ISD Superintendent Dr. John Folks.
"I wanted to make sure that we had someone that was going to be knowledgeable about Pre-K 4 SA, and Dr. John Folks is one of those individuals," Medina said. "He is a man of great integrity and character and felt very comfortable in asking, and he graciously accepted to serve."
Dist. 1 Councilman Diego Bernal indicated his pick would be Dr. Richard Middleton, former Superintendent of Northeast ISD, but Bernal declined to discuss the decision until a later date. Dist. 6 Councilman Ray Lopez' nominee is Dave Force, who was previously the executive director of San Antonio Youth Literacy.
As outlined in the guidelines for board members, terms to be served include two, three and four year commitments. Nominees cannot be a current San Antonio city employee, or be a district employee or trustee.
The board’s job is to implement policies, oversee implementation, and provide direction and guidance to the corporation created to run the program. The guidelines outline preferred backgrounds of board members to include business, higher education, community/grassroots projects, and non-profit work.
The city council will formally vote next week on the nominees.