SANTA ANA : College Board Elects Conley President
The Rancho Santiago College board named longtime political outsider Brian Conley as its new president this week, a move that signals a significant shift in board politics.
After he joined the board in 1988, Conley often voted against the majority after contentious debates. As recently as a year ago, the board stripped Conley and fellow board member Charles W. (Pete) Maddox of their memberships on county committees after they requested that the county district attorney investigate alleged improprieties at a swap meet held at the college.
But on Monday, the seven-member Board of Trustees elected Conley unanimously. He noted Tuesday that the character of the board has undergone “quite a change from a year ago.”
Conley said his election follows a three-year transition from an “old board” with members who had been on for decades. That transition unfolded after the election defeats of longtime members Hector Godinez in 1988 and Vernon Evans in 1990, and the Sept. 1 resignation of Rodolfo Montejano, a founding member of the board.
With its members more united, Conley said that the board should be able to better focus its energies on “the real issues coming up,” including sharp drops in state funding and a growing student population.
Conley, who served as clerk of the board for the past year, replaces Shirley Ralston, who will now serve as the board’s representative to the county Legislative Task Force. Conley has been an instructor at Golden West College since 1975. The board also elected Carol Enos vice president and Maddox to the clerk position.