Public calls for RCCD Board of Trustee member’s resignation

By Laura M. Tapia
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Shari Yates, Early Childhood Associate professor, addresses her concerns about Nathan Miller, the vice president of the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees at a Board meeting Aug.16 (Stacy Soriano | Viewpoints)

The Vice President of the Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees received demands for his resignation Aug. 16 during a Board of Trustees meeting.

Nathan Miller is under criticism for tweeting out an image of a hangman with the words “I’m Ready for Hillary” from the official Twitter account of Riverside’s Republican Party, as previously reported Aug. 4 on Viewpoints online.

He sent two tweets with the image, the tweets were in response to another user who asked where she could find “Republicans for Hillary” signs. The second tweet included the caption “sorry they never arrived but this is pretty popular,” according to the Press Enterprise.

During the public comments portion of the Aug. 16 meeting, the first Board of Trustees meeting since the incident, several members of the public spoke out against Miller’s actions.

Shari Yates, Early Childhood Associate professor, asked “What kind of political rhetoric is the most impactful?” before answering “Fear and loathing.”

Yates continued by telling a story of when she first met Miller in a Board of Trustees meeting at the Moreno Valley Campus, before asking him to resign saying “RCCD deserves a Trustee that we trust will make good and appropriate decisions.”

“Trustee Mary Figueroa was giving her report and you were in the audience, I remember how you mocked her and laughed at her,” she recalled. “It was mean and rude and demeaning. (Professor) Fabian Biancardi called you on it and you two exchanged words, that’s how I was introduced to you.”

“The Faculty’s trust has been violated, speaking on behalf of my colleagues and myself please resign, your choices are not trustworthy of the position you have been elected to.”

John Kopp, an Eastvale resident, said that while Miller is his Trustee, he doesn’t represent him.

Referencing Yates’ story about Miller ridiculing Trustee Figueroa, Kopp said “the question becomes does he still behave in such manner,” he continued. “On Aug. 5, I sent Trustee Miller an email where I (asked) him to resign.  The response I got back was “grow up.”

Miller did not want to comment regarding the email sent to Kopp in an interview with Viewpoints after the meeting.

“These Board meetings and public comments are subject to free speech,” he said. “I’m not gonna speak to their motives or intentions, but like I said at the end of the meeting I’ve made several mistakes … I’ve been very fortunate that people are patient with me. They’ve given me an opportunity to acknowledge my mistakes and when they’re brought to my attention I’m the first to acknowledge them.