Former state lawmaker Demion Clinco is the newest board member at Pima Community College.
Pima County School Superintendent Linda Arzoumanian appointed Clinco to the District 2 seat formerly held by David Longoria, who resigned in October.
Clinco, who now serves as president and executive director of the Tucson Historic Preservation Foundation, told The Skinny that he believes Pima has a key role to play in the region’s economic development because “it’s the gateway for so many people into higher paying jobs.”
The college has been through a rough patch that included claims that members of PCC’s board looked the other way rather than investigate sexual harassment claims against former chancellor Ray Flores and a host of other violations of administrative rules and procedures. After a lengthy investigation, the Higher Learning Commission announced in 2013 that Pima was on probation and in danger of losing its academic accreditation. Earlier this year, the HLC removed Pima from probationary status, although the college remains On Notice that it must continue to shape up or risk losing its accreditation.
Clinco said new Pima Chancellor Lee Lambert, who took over in 2013, has been moving PCC in the right direction “to remove those impediments that have left a cloud over the college. I’m looking forward to working with him.”
Clinco added that his legislative experience could help the college as it lobbies lawmakers on a number of issues, including efforts to adjust a spending limit could tangle up Pima’s efforts to expand in high-tech programs such as aviation training that require upfront investment by PCC.
He plans to run for a full term on Pima’s board in 2016, so Clinco is giving up plans on making a return to the Legislature next year. Clinco had been considering both Legislative District 2, where he lost his seat, and Legislative District 9, where there’s an open House seat with state Rep. Victoria Steele making a run for Congresswoman Martha McSally’s District 2 seat.
“I think it would be pretty hard to do both,” Clinco said.
Democratic state Rep. Randy Friese is seeking reelection to one of the two LD9 House seats. Democrat Pamela Powers Hannley and Republican Ana Henderson have both launched campaigns for the House in District 9.