| Joseph Mitchner, a Mountain View resident and self-described finance "nerd," was the only one who applied for a Mountain View-Los Altos Union High School District board of trustees opening. He got it.
The MVLA trustees unanimously appointed Mitchner to serve as the board's fifth member Monday night, replacing David Williams, who resigned last June. He'll be paid $252 a month for his service.
As an appointed member, Mitchner will serve as a trustee until the seat goes up for reelection in November 2008. Mitchner said he plans to run for a full term at that time. Elected board members serve a term of four years.
At the board meeting Monday night, trustees considered extending the application time period in the hopes that more candidates would apply. But after interviewing Mitchner, the trustees found him to be "personable," "easygoing" and knowledgeable about finance, and decided to appoint him.
A 16-year resident of Mountain View, graduate of Stanford University, and a Little League coach and board member for 22 years, Mitchner came highly recommended from several community members.
One such member, A. Brooke Seawell, a venture capitalist and fellow Little League parent, wrote in a letter of recommendation that "Joe possesses the skills of a strong finance manager -- inquisitive, probing and detail-oriented, with a sense for when macro versus micro analysis is most appropriate. Joe's fiscally conservative and responsible approach would be especially valuable in overseeing the fiscal affairs of a school district."
Another letter came from Ellen Wheeler, a trustee for the Mountain View Whisman School District. "I believe that he is intelligent, independent, honest, and vitally interested in providing quality education to the students in both of our school districts," she wrote.
Eventually board members came to share their view.
"We are thrilled to appoint Joe Mitchner to our board," said board of trustees president Susan Sweeley. "He has the perfect mix of school financial knowledge, experience with our Mountain View Whisman partner schools, and a desire to focus on what is best for kids."
Mitchner last worked as the assistant athletic director for finance at Stanford University. Before that he worked as a financial manager at Oracle Corporation and at Hewlett-Packard. In the 1980s, he served on the Parks and Recreation Commission of Menlo Park.
He is a parent of one 11-year old son and two 8-year old twin daughters. They attend Graham Middle School and Bubb Elementary School, respectively.
"I'm a believer in public education and would like to help out as much as I can," he said.
Mitchner and his wife have taken the last couple of years off to spend more time with their kids. His official swearing-in ceremony will take place Aug. 13.
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