District trustee resigns

Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board President Timothy Farley, who represented Ward III, unexpectedly resigned as trustee Monday, Feb. 26.

“It is with a heavy heart that I write this letter officially resigning as a member of the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board,” said Farley in an official letter addressed to board Vice President John Márquez. “This resignation will take effect today due to a pressing personal family matter that requires my immediate attention.”

His term was due to end in December, but he had been expected to run for re-election. 

I think he really felt that this was his home, that this was a place where he understood what we were trying to do and achieve.”

— Tim Leong

“I’m shocked,” said Ward IV Trustee Gary Walker-Roberts. “He only has 10 months, I thought he was running again and I just hope everything is OK with him.”

Farley’s resignation was officially announced during Wednesday’s board meeting, where other members of the governing board and district Chancellor Fred Wood expressed sentiments of sadness at his departure and appreciation for his service as a trustee.

“It was a surprise for me to receive Trustee Farley’s resignation earlier this week,” said Wood during the meeting. “I can tell you he was very helpful to me during my first year.”

An emotional Ward II Trustee Vicki Gordon said “a tearful, heartfelt goodbye to Trustee Farley” and spoke highly about his advocacy and support for DACA students in the district.

“His heart was really doing what was best for our colleges,” said Gordon.

District Director of Communications and Community Relations Tim Leong echoed similar sentiments about Farley, explaining that his “his commitment to students was never in doubt.”

“Tim is a DVC graduate so he knows the importance and contributions that community colleges can play on our students,” said Leong adding, “I think he really felt that this was his home, that this was a place where he understood what we were trying to do and achieve — as much student success for all of our students as we possibly can.”

During the meeting, Márquez also voiced how difficult it was for him to talk about Farley’s resignation.

“I’m going to miss him a lot,” said Márquez. “I’ve known him, in the ballpark, for 35 years.”

Given the unexpected vacancy, a special board meeting will be held March 12 to discuss the next steps in filling Farley’s position.

Because Farley’s letter of resignation was submitted after the 72-hour window required by the Brown Act for posting agenda items, the board has to wait for the March 12 meeting do decide whether or not to appoint an individual to fill Farley’s spot or maintain a four-member board until the upcoming election this November.