There are basically two ways for an elected official to get prosecuted for living away from the city he’s supposed to represent:
1) Leave a very long trail of legal documents that you live elsewhere; or
2) Get bad legal advice and do something foolish like apply for a homeowner’s tax exemption on your out-of-district property and register your car there.
Nick Nardolillo committed both sins and that’s why he’s no longer on the Ohlone College Board of Trustees.
Greg Bonaccorsi committed neither sin, so he’ll be sticking around.
Over the past month, I heard from several people that Bonaccorsi, who represents Fremont on the board, had moved to Newark.
As my story in Saturday’s paper details, Bonaccorsi’s wife now lives in Newark. His daughter now lives in Newark. But he’s renting a room in Fremont, so legally, he’s still a Fremont resident. I knew this when I interviewed him about 10 days ago in Fremont.
I wanted to know why he’d bother living apart from his wife and daughter for the next year and maybe beyond just to keep a seat on the Ohlone board. Why not just rent a place together in Fremont or quit the board and go to Newark? It seemed odd.
Greg says he made a commitment to voters to fulfill his term, which ends next year. He also says serving on the board is a great honor.
It’s also lucrative.
The Bonaccorsis, who got well-below market prices on both their rentals, get free health insurance and benefits through Ohlone, worth more than $19,000. And that allows Bonaccorsi to pocket the more than $5,000 he gets as a Fremont teacher to buy health insurance. Throw in the $3,500 annual trustee salary and that’s a lot of money to be leaving on any table in Newark.