School board member Alex Mendez promised to complete his board of education term during the past election; however, by running for another office he has gone back on his word, according to residents who questioned the school board member during numerous candidate forums.
One such forum was the Hillcrest Neighborhood Association forum where Aheya Khan, board of adjustment commissioner, asked Mendez why he was breaking his promise after telling the public he would complete his school board term.
“He publicly said he would complete his term,” said Khan during an interview on Saturday. Khan said at the time Mendez explained that he would not run for any other office until he had completed his term at the school board.
Mendez responded vaguely during the forum saying, his community has convinced him to run for council at-large. This paper reached out to Mendez asking why he has decided to track back on his words, the school board member said, “I explained that so many times.”
Mendez was asked recently at a candidate forum in the Masonic Temple on Broadway why he nullified his promise, he provided the same response: his community has told him to do so.
Khan wondered whether Mendez plans to keep the promises he is making now if he wins a council seat on Tuesday.
“According to Mr. Mendez, he’s saying the community asked him to run. He doesn’t owe an explanation to me he owes one to the public and the Board of Ed,” said Kenneth Morris, councilman at-large, who is contesting in the eight-person council at-large race.
However, an explanation has not been forthcoming from Mendez. In March a reporter approached Mendez following a school board meeting asking for an explanation. Mendez asked for a business card and said he would call to explain – no call came.
On Saturday, Mendez said he wanted to discuss the matter in person. “How am I going to explain that to you over the phone?” said Mendez.
“I heard people said that he said it, but I can’t confirm whether he said it or not,” answered Kenneth McDaniel, council at-large. McDaniel said with the election in three days it’s a non-issue.
“It’s a moot point right now, he has put in a lot of work with his campaign,” said McDaniel. “I don’t think it’s a real issue at this point.”
Bernard Jones, another council at-large candidate, said integrity is determined based on whether promises are kept. “I’m a man of my word,” said Jones. “What I view as honor and integrity someone else may not view it that way.”
Khan said promises ought to be kept when they are made. “I believe when you’re promising, ‘that I’m going to do it,’ and then for political ambition you’re jumping for something else, you’re breaking your promise,” said Khan. “You shouldn’t make a promise that you can’t keep.”
“It’s a shame, if you promise and you can’t deliver,” said Haytham Younes, a firebrand who is competing against the other candidates. Younes questioned Mendez’s credentials, saying he is attempting to fool the public.
“What’s his education? He can’t prove he has a college degree,” said Younes, who was skeptical whether Mendez even has a high school diploma.
Mendez’s social media profile states he has studied at the Universidad Tecnologia de Santiago (UTESA), a college in the Dominican-Republic.
Having won the school board election earlier in the year, Mendez still has three years left in his term.
“People have to stand by their words,” said Jones.