Board approves budget adoption, will change it if needed

Sebastian Echeverry

“An amazing year in budgeting” according to Dr. David El Fattal, vice president of business services, as the school has received a surplus in money for the 2015-2016 semester.

Eyebrow-raising over school’s money, college energy consumption watch and bidding guidelines for contractors all were discussed by the Board of Trustees Wednesday, Sept. 16 at 6:30 p.m.

A live tweet compilation of the meeting can be found here.

Being the last item the board talked about in open session, the budget, it was still the most important talking point according to Marisa Perez, board secretary.

She said, “The adoption of the budget was a huge accomplishment.”

Perez was also pleased in hearing that student service outlets, like the library and success centers where students can do school work, have had an increase in how long they stay open allowing night-class students the ability to use them.

The budget presentation put together by El Fattal showed that the student centered grand total reached $4.7 million.

Board President Carmen Avalos asked all the trustees to withhold from asking questions until the end of the presentation.

Drayer expressed his concerns with $1 million that was allocated for a fund.

College President Dr. Jose Fierro came out and said that the fund came about during a conversation with El Fattal.

Dr. Sandra Salazar, board member, told Fierro that she would like it better to have the rest of the board know about things like funds that are part of the budget.

As new buildings fall and rise on campus, the board members had Bharat Patel, senior vice president of engineering at Harley Ellis Devereaux, and El Fattal talk about a plan to watch how much energy buildings on campus are consuming.

Assembly Bill 32 tells all of us to reduce gas emissions to 28 percent,” Perez said. “As the college reduces energy consumption, we are moving to become a sustainable community.”

Patel said that smaller buildings use less energy than larger ones.

He said, “”Buildings like the Health Occupations Building require more energy than smaller buildings.”

According to El Fattal energy audits will be done to the school’s buildings, all to improve energy efficiency.

The project by El Fattal and Patel was approved by the board.

Biding is a term used when contractors, those in charge of taking up an assignment and getting it done, chose to take a building project on campus.

The board wanted the biding processes for contractors to be simple yet provide enough information for all the parties involved.

Zurich Lewis, board member, said, “One of the major things we do here as a board is to make sure all communities are represented fairly.”