Presidential candidate answers forum questions

Gustavo Lopez

Amid a room overflowing with students, faculty and staff, Dr. Edward Hernandez introduced college presidential candidate Dr. Monte Perez for a public forum.

The forum was held in the Teleconference Center from 4 p.m. to 5 p.m Tuesday, March 10.

Perez was president of Moreno Valley College and Los Angeles Mission College. He is one of five candidates for Cerritos College presidential search.

During the public forum, the audience were able to ask questions that Perez would answer but due to the time constraint not all questions were answered.

Questions ranged from asking about past experiences, college presidential career experiences and promoting student success and book prices.

One of Perez’s plans is to reach out to local school districts to better prepare incoming students for higher education.

He said, “I’m doing an overall assessment of all our activities to see what our best practices are and see if we can repeat those practices,”

Perez outlined how reallocating funds from a program to improve other programs might bolster the effectiveness overall.

According to Perez, Cerritos College’s surplus reserve money would be a topic of discussion between he and the Board of Trustees, if elected.

“I think I’ve proven myself to be fiscally, prudent, I don’t want to use the word ‘conservative’ per se, I think that it’s important that we pay our staff a competitive wage to make sure they keep doing the great job that they’re doing,” he said.

But he also stressed the importance of planning ahead whatever the fiscal climate may be.

Board of Trustee Bob Arthur was also in attendance along with other staff.

He was glad to see the big turn out but wished there was more time for questions.

“I think the questions were very well thought out, I’m not sure I agree with the statement about 33 percent budget reserve,” he added.

Perez is one of five candidates running for the college presidential seat. This is also one of the five forums.

For more information on the candidates or forum schedules go to: http://cms.cerritos.edu/board/presidential-search-2014/