COC board member resigns, third closed session meeting to be held  


Chuck Lyon has announced his resignation from the Santa Clarita Community College District board of trustees, which oversees College of the Canyons, effective Thursday.  

Lyon’s resignation means the board likely will soon be down two members after Joan MacGregor announced earlier this year her intent to step down after 31 years on the board.  

MacGregor, who was most recently re-elected in 2022 for a four-year term to expire in November 2026, said at Wednesday’s meeting that she would likely have one more meeting. 

She did not immediately respond to multiple requests for comment on Thursday on when she will officially be stepping down.  

Thursday was the last day for a board member to officially resign in time for that person’s seat to be included in a special election that would be consolidated with November’s general election, according to Eric Harnish, spokesman for the college. 

A special closed session meeting was called for Monday by board President Edel Alonso at the close of Wednesday’s meeting. 

When asked for comment on Thursday, Alonso deferred all comments to Harnish. 

One item will be discussed in open session on Monday, according to Harnish, who said it will be a resolution to consolidate a special election for Lyon’s seat with the November general election. 

He cited Education Code Section 5093, which states that if a seat not scheduled to be on the general election ballot is left empty between six months and 130 days prior to a regularly scheduled election, “The position shall be filled at a special election for that position to be consolidated with the regular election. A person elected to fill a position under this subdivision shall take office at the next regularly scheduled meeting of the governing board following the certification of the election and shall serve only until the end of the term of the position which he or she was elected to fill.” 

That section supersedes Section 5091, which gives the board the power to either hold a special election or make an appointment to fill the vacancy. That section also allows for a board member to defer their resignation for up to 60 days after filing with the county. 

No additional details about Monday’s 10 a.m. closed session have been released as of Thursday. Wednesday’s meeting was the second in June to include a closed-session evaluation of COC Chancellor Dianne Van Hook. No action was reported to be taken in either closed-session meeting. 

Both meetings came after the board received the results of a recently conducted campus climate survey. According to the survey, about 81% of employees responding said they feel welcome at the college, while 19% did not, and some raised concerns over retaliation for speaking up about problems. 

Lyon, who led the COC football team from 1998 to 2006 and served as the college’s athletic director from 2007 to 2016, was elected to the board in 2022. He said in a phone interview Thursday that he still plans on coaching women’s golf at Moorpark College. 

“I prefer to be involved with athletics and students than administration,” Lyon said, adding that he still has a “great love for the college” but “politics is not for me.”  

Lyon helped the Cougars’ football program to its first national and state titles in 2004 and was the first player to score a touchdown at COC’s Cougar Stadium as the team’s quarterback in the 1974 campaign.  

Lyon’s resignation, coupled with MacGregor’s announcement that she intends to resign, creates a scenario in which all five board seats could change hands this year.   

Three seats — currently held by Alonso, Jerry Danielson and Sebastian Cazares — are set to be on the November election ballot. Alonso has been on the board since 2016, while Cazares, a COC graduate, was elected in 2020 and Danielsen was appointed in 2023 following the resignation of Michelle Jenkins. 

Both MacGregor, who represents Area 5, and Lyon, who represents Area 1, were set to have their seats on the ballot in November 2026. Whomever is elected or appointed to those seats would fulfill the remainder of those terms before those seats are back on the ballot. 

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