Four apply to fill Banta board vacancy
by Denise Ellen Rizzo
Nov 30, 2012 | 3400 views | 0 0 comments | 7 7 recommendations | email to a friend | print
BANTA — Four applicants have come forward to fill a Banta School District Board of Trustees seat that was vacated by 14-year board veteran Steve Weinzapfel on Nov. 8.

Applying to fill the remaining two years on Weinzapfel’s term are Chuck Miller, Joe Perry, Natalie McCarty and Christina Meza.

On Thursday, Nov. 29, the applicants went before Superintendent Albert Garibaldi, board President Frank Silva and board member Patricia Speer to answer a series of questions regarding the position.

Each applicant took turns talking about meeting preparation, their views on micromanagement, handling controversy within the public and confidentiality.

Each applicant stressed a desire to serve on the board.

Both men said they were military veterans — Miller is the owner of a handyman service in Tracy, while is Perry retired from the Defense Distribution Depot San Joaquin.

Both McCarty and Meza work in real estate.

McCarty said her grandfather, Alfred Pombo, served on the Banta school board for 35 years. She said the importance of education was instilled in generations of her family. Her philosophy is that the best investment that can be made is with a child. She added that she has been a long-time volunteer at the Banta Hay Day volunteer — the school’s fall festival — a school site council member and creator of the schools’ community Facebook page.

Perry sees himself as “somebody who has something to give” as a board member, and spoke extensively about his career with the military and depot. He said he has been a Banta resident for more than six decades.

Miller told his questioners that he’s lived in Banta for 25 years and has stayed up-to-date on the school district’s issues for some time. He said he has often researched issues to gain his own personal knowledge. He asked the board for the opportunity to serve, calling it a “rewarding job.”

Meza, a resident of Banta for 10 years, said her business background in management would be an asset to the board. She wants to serve on the board as a way to give back to the community.

Garibaldi told the applicants after an hour and a half of answering questions that the board would not make a decision that night. He said they have 60 days from the time Weinzapfel resigned to officially choose the new school board member, which would be Jan. 7, according to the Press’ count.

“We opened the position up after he announced his resignation,” Garibaldi said in a telephone interview Thursday. “We did have seven people express an interest, but in the end, four returned the paperwork in the allotted time.”

Weinzapfel left the board because his family relocated Wilmington, N.C.

“I’m 62 now, and it’s time for me to take off,” he said in a telephone interview Thursday.

Weinzapfel expressed pride in his tenure, especially regarding the expansion of the school district with the River Islands development in Lathrop — an expansion that includes a charter school now under construction.

“I think we got some things accomplished at the school — we reached a kind of plateau with the mitigation agreement with River Islands,” he said. “We got a lot of things out of the way that we needed to do to move along. We’re essentially in good shape. … I feel like I’m leaving it in good hands.”

• Contact Denise Ellen Rizzo at 830-4225 or

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