Trustee resigns from Nevada County Board of Education
November 7, 2017
Bob Altieri is stepping down from his seat on the Nevada County Board of Education after 19 years, one year shy of the end of his fifth term.
"Dec. 12 will be my last (board) meeting," Altieri said. He announced his resignation to the board and the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools in a Nov. 1 letter.
"I'm 73 years old," he said this week. "It's time."
Altieri said he has had some medical issues — nothing serious, he stressed — and wants to cut back at work as well. He and his wife are planning to do some traveling.
The business broker and certified appraiser owns Exit Strategies Group. He has served on the board since 1994.
Altieri's last election was particularly contentious, as he ran on a slate with Larry Meek and Michelle Sexton to unseat Marianne Slade-Troutman and John Meeks. Slade-Troutman and Meeks had spent months focusing on the Nevada County Superintendent of Schools travel expenses and charter school budgetary management.
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Altieri, Meek and Sexton contended that the board needed more collaboration, claiming their opponents focused on trivial budgetary issues.
"I think whatever their motivations are, it doesn't appear to be in the position of stopping, and it's unproductive," Altieri told The Union before the election in October 2014. "So that's the reason I'm running, I'm not going to walk away from 16 years of serving this community."
Altieri said that things became too political on the board during that time period.
"There's no room for politics" on a board that should be devoted to education, he said.
"That's the only reason I ran again," Altieri said. "I just couldn't leave it. After all those years of trying to be a positive force. I just couldn't walk away from it."
The long-running scrutiny by Meeks and Slade-Troutman of expenditures by then-Superintendent Holly Hermansen "had a negative effect on everything," he said, adding that Hermansen's expenditures always ran under what she was allowed by her budget. "I believe she did a fabulous job."
Altieri said he feels confident in the current board, noting that Sexton and Meek will be up for re-election next year, as will be the person appointed to finish out his term.
Slade-Troutman and Meeks both ran again for the board, unsuccessfully, in 2016.
"I think a lot of people don't understand the role of the Board of Education," Altieri said. "We have no oversight of the school districts, They are like sovereign nations; we can't interfere with the way they manage their operations."
The board serves several roles required by the state, he explained. Its primary function is approval of the Superintendent of Schools budget. The county office also initiates a lot of programs such as STEAM Expo and Law Day.
"That's the part I really love, 'cause it's all about the kids," Altieri said.
Current Superintendant of Schools Scott Lay said he has worked with Altieri for the last 16 years, calling him one of the educational leaders in the county.
"He truly is looking at what makes sense and what's best for kids in our county," Lay said. "He's full of common sense, with great leadership skills. … We are going to miss him."
Lay said he has been working on a projected timeline for naming a replacement, which ideally will take place within a 30-day time frame. That process will be finalized at Wednesday's board meeting.
"We will give people the opportunity to apply for the position," Lay said. "We will set the criteria and post that on Thursday. The board will interview those who apply in open session and then pick the candidate."
Contact reporter Liz Kellar at 530-477-4236 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.