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Olivier looks to rev up Fresno Unified with potential Trustee bid

Election 2018

Olivier looks to rev up Fresno Unified with potential Trustee bid

Clint Olivier, eyeing a Fresno Unified board seat in 2018, hopes to jumpstart progress.

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Don’t be surprised if Fresno City Council President Clint Olivier pursues a spot on Fresno Unified’s governing board.

If he does, Olivier would run for the Trustee Area 4 seat currently held by Christopher De La Cerda.

The seat is up for grabs in 2018. Olivier, the two-term Council District 7 representative, is termed out next year. There are no term limits on the FUSD board.

I caught up with Olivier on Saturday and asked if the rumors about his Area 4 trustee ambitions are true. Olivier spoke of having second thoughts about running for a state Senate seat. He spoke about his young family and his concerns about the direction of Fresno Unified. He spoke about the valuable experience he’s gained from more than six years on the City Council.

Olivier didn’t say “yes.” Nor did he say “no.”

“There are folks who feel they are not getting good representation from Mr. De La Cerda,” Olivier said.

He added: “I’m a bit concerned that Fresno Unified is not producing” up to its capabilities.

Trustee Area 4 covers a part of Central Fresno plus East-Central Fresno. It’s usually described as the McLane High School seat. Council District 7 covers much of Central Fresno.

Olivier earlier this year said he was interested in running for the 8th State Senate District seat. Incumbent Republican Tom Berryhill is termed out in 2018.

Olivier on Saturday told me he is now looking for something in his post-City Hall career that wouldn’t take him so far from home and family. Spending much of each week in Sacramento “would be a huge sacrifice,” he said.

At the same time, Olivier said, helping shape the future of Fresno Unified is a worthy challenge.

For example, Mayor Lee Brand is focusing much of his administration’s energy on building the infrastructure needed to create up to 20,000 new jobs. Putting Fresnans to work, Brand says, will do much to fix the city’s social and economic problems. Amazon and Ulta Beauty have already promised to build big distribution centers in Fresno; Brand promises more such successes.

A key to making all this happen, Olivier told me, is an educated workforce. That, of course, is where Fresno Unified School District comes into play.

“We have to provide the human resources for these big companies,” Olivier said. The thought of failure due to trouble in our public schools, he added, “concerns me.”

Clint Olivier sure sounds like someone revving up a school board campaign.

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George Hostetter

George Hostetter is a contributor to CVObserver and advisor to The Collegian, the student newspaper of Fresno State.

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Nancy Flynn

    July 24, 2017 at 2:32 pm

    Time to start talking to the teachers to find out how to turn the tide of unruly, disrespectful students in the classroom. Blaming the school district for low performance when the teachers can’t teach because the students are zoned out literally (as in stoned from smoking pot) or because students are absent with their parent’s blessing or encouragement should be Olivier’s first inquiry when it comes to the ‘why?’students are failing to thrive.

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