Budget forum tracks the school’s money

Gustavo Lopez

Vice President of Business Services David El Fattal hosted a budget forum to break it down for staff and administration. The budget forum was for the adopted budget and took place on Thursday, Sept. 3, at the Teleconference Center.

One point of interest was the expiration of two bonds in 2016, which were worth $1.5 million.

“The reason I said it was to let everyone know that it’s running out, but we need to do as an institution is to continue to pay for it with our dollars or to make adjustments so that students get what they need,” El Fattal said.

He jokingly remarked that the forums only go fine when there’s a lot of money but he was glad at the attendance of staff.

Among professors and administrators present was Cerritos College Faculty Federation Solomon Namala, who asked about the reserves in the budget.

He explained that in the tentative budget, the expenditures would be $90 million, but in the adopted budget the expenditures jumped to $107 million.

“I asked ‘where did that extra 16 come from’ but I know [where]. See when they transfer money from this fund to another one, it is called an expenditure but it’s not really spending.”

Namala explained that that’s where the $16 million are from.

During the discussion, El Fattal said that although the reserve money was over the board of trustees mandated 5 percent, it is always better to have more.

Namala believes that the reserve is about 46 percent and should be used for student success.

“How much is prudent to have? Our mission is to serve not to be a bank and I have a feeling we have lost that balance,” he said.