In the community, Schools

In Ontario, Melendrez finds his voice as councilor, mentor

Eddie Melendrez, quiet-natured son of migrant farmworkers, is emerging as a leader in Ontario.

He has grown more comfortable with public authority, more willing these days to wade into controversial issues from his seat on the Ontario City Council.

He didn’t relent when some members of the Ontario School Board earlier this year questioned whether he was the best choice to fill a vacancy.

Speaking forthrightly, Melendrez told that board he was more than ready to add school duties to his volunteer work.

Melendrez’s evident passion and strong community support led another leading candidate for the school board seat to drop out. Melendrez won the appointment by unanimous vote.

He now holds seats on two of Ontario’s most significant and powerful public entities. He also is on the board of the nonprofit Community in Action . . .