Pleasanton trustee steps down from Chabot-Las Positas board

Community college district plans to appoint Vecchiarelli's successor soon

Chabot-Las Positas Community College District Trustee Carlo Vecchiarelli, a longtime Pleasanton resident, resigned from the Board of Trustees last week to retire from district service after more than 50 years, district leaders announced Tuesday.

Vecchiarelli was in the middle of his fourth term on the board representing Trustee Area 5, which includes most of Pleasanton, as well as Dublin and Sunol. His tenure with Chabot-Las Positas also included decades as a faculty member and dean of admissions.

"On behalf of the Board of Trustees, I thank Carlo for his dedication and leadership to our students and community," said Board President Edralin "Ed" Maduli, whose district includes the rest of Pleasanton and Livermore.

The reasons for the timing of Vecchiarelli's retirement mid-term are unclear. He had not responded to requests for comment as of Tuesday evening.

District leaders plan to appoint a provisional trustee to fill the remainder of Vecchiarelli's term, which runs through fall 2020, rather than call a special election now, according to Guisselle Nuñez, the district's public relations director.

The six remaining board members will solicit applications from residents in Trustee Area 5, once the appointment process is finalized in the weeks ahead, according to Nuñez. The appointed trustee will serve through November 2020, when the next regularly scheduled board election will be held.

Vecchiarelli had held the board seat since winning election in 2004. Earning re-election in 2008, 2012 and 2016, he served as board president three times during his tenure.

He first joined the district in 1968 as a faculty member in the Science Department at Chabot College, where he taught life sciences and authored three books. Vecchiarelli became Chabot's dean of admissions in 1975, a position he held for 23 years. He also served as dean for the Math and Computer Science Department.

Vecchiarelli is also a member of the Chabot Sports Hall of Fame, inducted in recognition of meritorious services to student-athletes. His other service highlights include several accreditation teams and the Board of Regents for Oakland's Bishop O'Dowd High School, where he was an alumnus.

In Pleasanton, Vecchiarelli and his wife Geri owned the Dolls and Ducks retail store in downtown for many years until its closing.

The Chabot-Las Positas board and district administration expect to formally recognize Vecchiarelli for his decades of service in the near future, Nuñez said.

Vecchiarelli's unscheduled vacancy represents the latest leadership turnover for the district that serves over 29,000 East Bay community college students across Las Positas College in Livermore and Chabot College in Hayward.

The Board of Trustees last week, with Vecchiarelli absent from the meeting, voted to appoint a third interim chancellor as the district looks to restart the hiring process after an unsuccessful first round of recruitment that saw the board not select any of the three finalists for appointment as the new permanent chancellor.

Ronald P. Gerhard, promoted from vice chancellor of business services, started his run as interim chancellor on Tuesday.

He succeeded Thomas Fallo, a retired California community colleges administrator who served as interim chancellor since mid-September, but couldn't continue going forward because of state retirement benefits laws. Before Fallo, Chancellor Emeritus Susan Cota worked briefly as interim chancellor in the immediate aftermath of chancellor Jannett Jackson resigning in August after five years at the helm.

Las Positas College also has an interim leader, with former vice president Roanna Bennie serving as interim president since last April.

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