Board candidates vie for CCFF endorsements
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Board of trustee hopefuls showed many different characteristics aspiring to be endorsed by the Cerritos College Faculty Federation (CCFF).
Area 4 trustee member Marisa Perez, kicked off the lobbying campaign to earn support from the CCFF on Thursday, Aug. 18.
Perez addressed the small crowd of faculty and guests by telling them a little about herself. She acknowledged that she currently serves on several boards within Lakewood.
“I just want to continue to serve my community […]again I’m very active in my community, I’m very involved, and I think it is an honor and a privilege to be a public servant,” Perez exclaimed about the possibility of being reelected to serve on the board at Cerritos.
When she first ran for her current chair at the board, she genuinely connected with members of the CCFF that supported her and endorsed her, ultimately playing a big role in why she won the election.
Mending Broken Relationships
Due to the fact that tensions have been at an all time high between board members and the CCFF due to the wage negotiations, the faculty members wanted to know how Perez planned to mend the broken relationship.
She said, “We had tossed around the idea of having more of a formal discussion, like a reception, like a night out where you can just talk person to person and get a better understanding for who they are, what their value systems are, [and] what’s important to them.
“That would probably be a good first step to kind of improve the relationship.”
Perez said that three years ago she suggested to her fellow board members that the faculty needed contracts, and everyone laughed at her.
She suggested that her high disapproval rate with faculty members is from other board member[s] “having it out for her.”
The trustee said, “I think maybe I would rephrase that. They’re not ‘out to get me,’ they just don’t like me or respect me. I think it’s been going on for the last two years, and I think it’s just unfortunate.
“Again, it distracts from what the mission [is], that we’re all here to serve, to serve as members of the board to represent our community, so it’s been unfortunate and a lot of our time and energy has been spent on that.”
Searching for Other Alternatives
Area 1 trustee Bob Arthur followed Perez on the floor, he spoke passionately about bringing more revenue into the school.
“My goal for this term would be to work with the administration and the board of trustees to look toward creating new revenue streams for the college, so that the institution won’t be so financially dependent on revenue streams from the state,” he said.
Arthur presented the idea of possibly forming a medium size group, through the president’s office, as a representative of our community to help present ideas that can be discussed, evaluated, and debated of whether or not it’s a viable alternative to help raise funds.
Arthur also suggested trying to increase enrollment by providing students with the things they need to succeed in their classes to them at no cost, to help them save a few thousands dollars a year.
Some faculty members were concerned about Arthur being at the Republican National Convention as a delegate for presidential candidate, Donald Trump.
He addressed the public’s concern by assuring them that he was one of the few who voted against the party’s platform and his support for Trump will not affect his policy making.
A New Face
Area 4 candidate, Ken Glenn, addressed the faculty members last for the day.
“My platform would be to run and represent all the employees, the unions, the teachers and especially the students.
“I want to try and give everybody a fair shape, what their problems are. One man can’t solve all the problems, but one man can give 100 percent of his time and effort to try and solve the problems. That’s where I want to try and help people here,” Glenn expressed.
Concerning the broken trust between the board and CCFF, Glenn presented the same idea as Perez but less formal.
He agreed that there should be a dinner where the two can come together and vent their frustrations with one another and have an impersonal conversation.
Glenn also spoke about trying to convince the board to use some money from the $500 million currently being saved in their reserve account.
“If, let’s say it’s a perfect year, and you’re only going to need this much money, and we have more money in there [then] what is it there for? Is it there for a rainy day, you want it to grow interest? It should go to some kind of good use, and from what I’m gathering in the time right now, it’s not.
“…And if it’s going to take raises, or some program, or other financing to take care of the problem I would love to work on that,” he said.
According to CCFF President Solomon Namala, the recommendation from C.O.P.E. on who CCFF will endorse will take place this week.