Leaders predict challenging, ‘cool’ 2004

Like powdered milk, the Chico school board last week set out to, in the words of outgoing president Rick Anderson, reconstitute itself.

During its annual organizational meeting, held Dec. 3, the Chico Unified School District Board of Trustees voted on new officers.

After Trustee Anthony Watts nominated Anderson for another term, there was silence until Scott Huber made an ultimately successful motion in favor of Steve O’Bryan. O’Bryan was elected 4-1, with Watts dissenting with the comment, “I think that maybe I missed something.”

(In a later interview, Watts clarified that he hadn’t realized the CUSD tradition of rotating the presidency among different board members and nominated Anderson as a show of support for his leadership.)

O’Bryan, who was first elected to the school board in 2000, is the owner of Pullins Cyclery in downtown Chico and previously served on the city parks commission.

“I do think we have a great board,” O’Bryan said. “I’m not real super-excited about being president [because] I know it’s going to be a challenging year.”

In passing the gavel, Anderson suggested those challenges could be opportunities. “This is going to be a cool next year,” he said.

Huber was elected vice president, Watts was named to replace Rick Rees as board clerk, and Superintendent Scott Brown was installed in his traditional role as secretary. The board will continue to meet on the first and third Wednesdays of each month, at 7 p.m.

O’Bryan also said he would continue Anderson’s practice of mentoring the newer members as they educate themselves about various issues and serve on committees around town.