McQuary’s Real (Sort of) Reasons for Not Running - Voice of San Diego

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McQuary’s Real (Sort of) Reasons for Not Running

Last week, San Diego Unified School District Trustee Mike McQuary told Voice of San Diego that he was not going to seek re-election because he felt like two terms is the right number of terms for the board. But when McQuary talked to the Union-Tribune, he cited a different reason for leaving.

School board trustee Mike McQuary speaks at a townhall at Ocean Beach Elementary School. / Photo by Jamie Scott Lytle

This post originally appeared in the Sept. 14 Politics Report. Get the Politics Report delivered to your inbox.

It was kind of weird last week when San Diego Unified School District board member John Lee Evans announced he would not be seeking re-election and then warned against “bomb throwers” running for his seat but then also absolutely torched the majority of people he has served with on the board.

On his personal website, he wrote that most of the other trustees he had served with were not qualified to be there or had bad ethics.

Seems as though he may like throwing a bomb or two himself, just depends on whom it scalds.

When we saw his post, we called his colleague, Mike McQuary, who had not initially been listed as one of the John Lee Evans Approved™ quality board members. McQuary then broke the news to us that he would not be seeking re-election either but his departure isn’t until 2022.

McQuary told us that he was not going to seek re-election because he felt like two terms is the right number of terms for the board. This was odd, considering he had supported the new three term-limits restriction approved by voters last year – but no big deal.

Well, maybe it was a big deal to him. The U-T picked up our scoop on McQuary. But when McQuary talked to the newspaper, he cited a different reason for leaving: He was going to be on the board of the organization Sister Cities International and he was going to move his focus to a “more global platform.”

He had not told us about this global position. This brought up a few more questions like, for example, why will the global platform be too distracting for McQuary in two years but not now?

But before we could ask, McQuary sent us a statement, unprompted: He said he had been asked to join the international board last weekend and, like he told the paper, his focus would be shifting to that.

“I will be working to connect schools to schools in cities that have Sister City International partnerships,” he wrote.

There may be some parents who would prefer his focus remain on things like this, but OK.

We had to ask, though, was he backing off his point that two terms is ideal?

He replied that he doesn’t think there should be term limits – voters should vote out anyone they don’t like. “However, if term limits are required for school board members, then I agree with our committee recommendation, board resolution and the passed initiative establishing a three-term limit,” he wrote.

He continued: “For me personally, two terms will be sufficient for me to accomplish my SDUSD Board Member goals: complete Vision 2020 and begin Vision 2030.”

To review: McQuary is not going to run for re-election because two terms is the right number even though he thinks three terms is fine and so is all the terms, hundreds of terms. But he’s not leaving because of that. He’s leaving because he joined the board of Sister Cities International and so he can’t focus on San Diego Unified. But he can focus on San Diego Unified for two more years.

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