Gov. Jay Inslee filled the months-long vacancy on Columbia Basin College's board on Monday. And it was empty again before the end of the day.
Candelaria "Candy" Mendoza, a Mid-Columbia Libraries administrator and vice president of the Tri-Cities Hispanic Chamber of Commerce, was appointed to the seat vacated in October by former board member Enriqueta Mayuga.
Within hours, Mendoza informed CBC and the governor's office she couldn't accept. She recently took a job with the San Antonio Public Library system in Texas.
"This is definitely one of the bum parts about leaving," she told the Herald. "It would have been awesome to be on that board."
Mendoza is the community engagement director at Mid-Columbia Libraries, which has her working on partnerships with groups outside the library as well as outreach and other library initiatives.
She's been with the library district for eight years after graduating with her master's degree from San Jose State University. She was an intern in CBC's library while she was finishing her education.
"We were well aware of her application (to the board) and were in full support," said Davin Diaz, the library district's spokesman.
Mendoza's appointment would have given the college's five-seat board full membership for the first time in more than a year.
The board has had four members since Sal Mendoza Jr. stepped down in spring 2013 when he became a Benton-Franklin Superior Court judge. He has since been named a U.S. District Court judge.
Candy Mendoza and Sal Mendoza are not related.
His replacement on the board, Bill Gordon of Pasco, was named last fall, but then Mayuga stepped down. She had been on the board since 2004 and delayed her departure so that the board wouldn't be left with just three members.
Before Candy Mendoza declined her board appointment, college officials said they were pleased to have her. CBC President Rich Cummins noted that she would have joined in time to attend the board's annual planning retreat later this month, giving her an opportunity to have an immediate affect on college policy and initiatives. But there were no hard feelings.
"I am extremely happy for her and wish her the best at her new job in Texas," Cummins said.
The governor's office told the Herald there would be news of a new appointee but did not say how long it would take to find a new board member.
Diaz said Mendoza would have been a great asset for CBC.
"I think it's a testament of the (library) system and professional development of our employees," he said. "All of us were lucky enough to have her."
-- Ty Beaver: 509-582-1402; firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter: @_tybeaver