(August 16, 2012, BRAWLEY) The BUHSD board turned down Joe Rodriguez’ petition to rename the Junior College Building after his parents by a 3-2 vote Wednesday night.
Rodriguez, a class of 1975 alumni, made a compelling case in person for the renaming of the Junior College Building in honor of his parents. He spoke of what a great education he received from the school and how he went on to become a marine and later ‘make a few bucks’ in business. He offered the school $100,000 in exchange for adding the name Rodriguez to the building. His parents’ initials are “J” and “C” and so the Junior College Building, or as it is called, the “JC Building” would become the “JC Rodriguez” building.
Trustees Helen Noriega and Rusty Garcia voted their approval.
Mrs. Noriega said, “We named a softball field after a coach. All we’re asked is to add ‘Rodriguez’, and he has been generous over the years donating money to the kids who couldn’t afford graduation gowns, annuals, dresses and tuxes for the prom.”
Garcia said, “We could use the money. It is still going to be called the JC Building. If we did ten of these we’d have a million bucks. We’ve been talking about this for over a year. Mr. Rodriguez should not be getting a run-around. He traveled all this way. Let’s vote for it, yea or nay.”
However, the three remaining members had their doubts.
“I’m ready to take the money with no strings attached,” board president Ralph Fernandez told Mr. Rodriquez. “We’ll take the money all day long without any strings. But not attached to the JC Building. Is there any other building or field you might be interested in?”
“No, not at all.” Rodriguez answered.
“Talking to people in the community, there is attachment to that building and that name. If you wanted room 18, we could probably do this.” Fernandez said.
Trustee Ceci Dial struggled with the concept through the board policy. The policy encourages the board to form a citizens’ advisory panel before naming a building and having many names submitted from citizens that have shown particular achievement in the community and country.
Carol Sassie didn’t like the idea that the school buildings were for sale.
In the end, Sassie, Dial, and Fernandez voted in the majority denying Mr. Rodriguez the name change.