Adam Skumawitz, the former Temecula Valley Unified School District board member who stepped down last year over a potential conflict of interest regarding his wife’s employment, is running again for his old board seat this November.
Skumawitz was elected to represent TVUSD’s Trustee Area 4 in 2018, but resigned in June 2019 after just seven months in his position to prevent any legal issues arising from his wife moving from a part-time to a full-time position within his district while he held his board seat.
His wife, a counselor, had previously worked full-time as a counselor at Great Oak High School, but went down to part-time prior to Skumawitz’s election to the board after the birth of the couple’s third child. She had always intended to return to full-time work, Skumawitz said both at the time and to Valley News via telephone July 8, but ran into trouble when offered to go back to another full-time position after his election.
In Skumawitz’s original resignation letter, submitted to the Riverside County Superintendent of Schools on June 26, 2019, he said district counsel’s interpretation of Government Code 1090 — which restricts elected officials from being “financially interested in any contract made by them in their official capacity, or by any body or board of which they are members” — left him with no other choice than to resign.
“The thought of us making a decision as a family to kind of freeze her career while I’m in a board position, which is more or less voluntary, wasn’t something that made sense for us,” Skumawitz told Valley News of that decision. “And I was told that as long as she was in the position for 12 months, I would have the opportunity to run again this fall.”
Now that those 12 months have passed, Skumawitz, a former professional soccer player and current financial planner, will do just that.
He said he’s eager to get involved again in the district’s decision-making processes, though he said he does not envy board members in their current deliberations over plans for reopening while adhering to public health guidelines and other coronavirus-related issues.
“I think the value that I miss adding to the group and to the conversation is.having a discussion that includes problem solving and critical thinking, and that forces people to think outside of the box,” Skumawitz told Valley News. “I can’t sit here and say they’ve done this right or this wrong because I’m not in those meetings, but I just feel like having the dialogue and having the conversation that forces the group to be a little bit more critical about how they approach things is something that I’m hoping to do so we can move from dialogue to action.”
The Trustee Area 4 seat is currently held by Julie Farnbach, who previously served on TVUSD’s governing board between 2014 and 2018 and was appointed in August 2019 by the other four board members to fill Skumawitz’s seat through the 2020 election.
The period for candidates to file for the Trustee Area 4 seat and other TVUSD board seats runs from July 13 through Aug. 7.
Will Fritz can be reached by email at email@example.com.