Vasquez and Sobecki state they are serving their full Board termsWritten by Staff Reports | | firstname.lastname@example.org
Toledo Public Schools Board President Bob Vasquez and Board Vice President Lisa Sobecki say they both intend to serve their full terms on the board. They made the announcement Nov. 14 in front of the Thurgood Marshall Building.
“My name has been used in talking about the possible vacancy on City Council as a replacement. I’m here to announce today, that I am not interested in that vacancy created when George Sarantou won election to the Lucas County Commissioners,” Vasquez said.
Toledo Free Press reported Nov. 4 that Vasquez was interested in a seat on council but claimed he was not actively pursuing it. “First of all, I haven’t talked to anyone about the position on City Council. I don’t know what process they are going to use,” he said that day. “If a position was offered to me, I’d consider it.”
He said with the challenges that TPS has he thinks It would be unfair of him to leave. “I have about three years left on my term on the Toledo Public School Board and I am going to stay.”
As part of his statement he said, “I will stand by my comments though there are other people on the Board who are just as qualified to lead the change that I have said need to be made in Toledo Public Schools.”
Vasquez said he does not see himself as irreplaceable, “But I remain steadfast in my approach and my energy to bring about transformational change in Toledo Public Schools.”
Sobecki said, “As Mr. Vasquez has said earlier, there have been many different names that were dropped there, mine has been one of those, I want to reassure those voters that supported me a little over three years ago and supported me by putting me on the Board of Education, entrusting me with looking after their tax payer dollars, making sure it’s spent wisely along with the educational progress of their kids. As I stand here before you today, I am committed to fulfilling my four-year election term.”
She said her focus continues to be on moving TPS forward. “This year and last year, we’re in a crisis deficit, I’ve explained this as the second wave of the tsunami.”
The concern with the changes in government and the possible impact on school funding with the election of John Kasich was also referenced by Sobecki during her statement. She said, “I’ve heard some remarks from the governor-elect in regards to the stimulus money and race to the top money, and taking out the evidence based. I’m hopeful and will stay optimistic that this governor-elect will not take that out because that would take possibly away from our stimulus that we have been awarded by the state.”
She said she was going to continue working with her colleagues, the administration, collective bargaining units and the public to get through this deficit they are in and urged the community continue to work with them, “this is going to be a culture change, with the dollar amounts we have before us to work with and I ask for them to be steadfast with us and to support our kids on a daily basis.
Sobecki was asked by a reporter if she would consider running for council after her term. She said at this time that’s not her focus, her focus is on TPS.
Vasquez said their names being mentioned for other political offices “has only been a distraction to what we really need to accomplish.”
When asked by Toledo Free Press when Vasquez made the decision to not seek the council vacancy, Vasquez said, “I never really made the decision to seek it, I’ve been asked before whether I would consider it but I said my focus was on TPS and I never really thought about it, I’d been asked before if I had closed the door on it and I said no I hadn’t.”
Vasquez said, “No, I did not,” when asked if he had spoken with any other elected officials prior to or after the election about running for council. After being asked how he would respond to being told more than one member of council had told Toledo Free Press they had conversations about his considering the vacancy, he clarified there had been informal conversations with more than one council member where the council vacancy came up but that he had not actively sought an appointment.
Vasquez said he scheduled the Nov. 3 meeting through Toledo Council President Wilma Brown’s aide about two weeks before the meeting and said he did not contact her by phone prior to the meeting.
Brown told Toledo Free Press Editor in Chief Michael S. Miller on Nov. 12 that she was surprised that Vasquez did not bring up the open council seat, that he appeared to want to broach the topic but neither of them did.
Vasquez said, “I don’t understand why she would say that, I did not discuss the vacancy with her.”