At a June 7 Santa Fe Public Schools board meeting, the big fight over tearing down Agua Fria Elementary heats up. The sticking point? Why SFR got more info about mold (or lack thereof) at the school than board members themselves.
At the meeting, part of which an attending member of the public posted later on YouTube (see below), Board secretary Linda Trujillo questioned why she was told something different from SFR regarding mold at Agua Fria Elementary School. In the news article "Demo Dilemma," SFR reported that mold wasn't the motivating issue behind the proposed teardown of the school, according to SFPS Chief Operations Officer Justin Snyder. SFR also reviewed paperwork obtained under an open records request that stated the mold had been remediated.
But apparently this was news to Trujillo, based on her comments at the June 7 meeting:
"To read in the Reporter that mold at Agua Fria was not an issue, and that staff had actually commented to the Reporter that it wasn’t an issue, and yet that really was told to me that it was in fact an issue--that it was a serious issue--and so I question information, and I hope that at some point we can get back to a much more open and trusting relationship," Trujillo told Superintendent Bobbie Gutierrez, Board President Barbara Gudwin, Board VP Glenn Wikle and board member Steven Carrillo.
Trujillo then went on to address larger issues of communication among the board members. Check it:
Gutierrez tells SFR that she needs to follow up with Trujillo and clarify what she meant, because the board knew the building had mold but that it had been remediated and wasn't the reason for the proposed demolition. Gutierrez was clear with SFR in a conversation before the June 1 piece that mold was not the reason for the proposed teardown.
"We’ve got all the reports [on the mold remediation]...the levels were normal and the staff has received all those reports as well," Gutierrez says, "So I don’t know if Linda just misunderstood or whatever and I didn’t ask her after the board meeting..we’ve never denied that there was mold in C building- it wasn’t a factor for tearing everything down, but yes, it had mold. I have to to clarify for her. I just need to have the conversation to find out why would she think that, because I really don’t know."
Trujillo didn't immediately return a call for comment; SFR is also awaiting return calls from the other board members.