Monday, June 25, 2012

June meeting of the SOCCCD BOT, live and direct!


     (See Tere's Board Meeting Highlights)
     Well, it's 6:01, and the meeting is about to start. Here we go.
     Nancy: Back from closed session. First: correction of record of last meeting....
     ACTIONS taken in closed session: Prendergast reports: 5/0 vote approved Linda Fontanilla VP Student Services, IVC. (She's from Cuesta College, SLO)
     Meldau does invocation: moment of silence to reflect on service of nurses.
     Pledge of allegiance.
Recognition: Roquemore explains an award Bill Hewitt got re (from?) FACC. So it's another case of honoring a person for getting honored about something else. Bill reminisces about 1985 at IVC. "There was nothing there," until Bill arrived, evidently. "I had a ball." Why? Because of the leadership and the board. "Thank you." PHOTO OP. 
Recognition: Burnett presents Sandy Marzilli(?) Did a phenomenal job for Emeritus. She's getting a plaque. She speaks. "[Emeritus has] been my second family." Thanks everyone for their support. "Saddleback is a hard habit to break," she says. PHOTO OP. 
Recognition: Burnett again blathering about John [Polikaitis? Greek Lithuanian name]. John is retiring as night custodian. Retiring this week at age of 94. Was with LA City Fire for 30 years. During WWII, he fought in the Battle of the Bulge! B hands him a Saddleback College certificate. He speaks. "I really enjoyed the college. I came here thinking of two years, became 33 years. Really enjoyed it, thank you." PHOTO OP 
Recognition: Burnett again. Dr. Jim Wright, esteemed Dean of M, S, and E. Burnett hands him a plaque. It's been a very wonderful evening, he says. Thanks to everyone, especially faculty. "This has been a wonderful second career." It's going to be hard not having to come to work. Thanks his wife--they've been married for 44 "wonderful years." Applause. PHOTO OP.
Public comments: Mickey M. Wants to thank board for changes that apply to transfer. I support changes in leadership or organization (?) at Saddleback College--in transfer area.

Board reports:
Bill Jay: I worked for Jim Wright, and he worked for me. And we're still friends! Earlier, the BOT voted him to fill board vacancy. 
Frank Meldau: congrats to Dr. Wright. 
TJ Prendergast: Congrats... 
Nancy Padberg: Congrats... 
Dave Lang: echoes congrats of fellow trustees 
Student trustee Park: no report.
Chancellor's report [Poertner]: On May 30 a large group held retreat, something about district-wide strategic plan. First goal, should be focus on district-wide culture of "mutual respect and collaboration." (A part of one's brain dies with each iteration.) Another retreat, identifying major barriers, etc. Legislative update: we've advocated three bills for veterans. All bills passed the Assembly, headed to Senate.
     Board requests for reports? None.
     No discussion item.
     6.1, 6.2, 6.3 advanced. Environmental matters. EIR. Facilities master plans.
Opens public hearing. Any public comments or testimony? Nobody wishes to speak.
Consultant comes up. RGB Planning guy. Jeremy something. Blah, blah, blah.
     Public hearing now closed, says Nancy P.

     Now, the consent calendar (i.e., bunch of stuff to be adopted/passed wholesale). Lang pulls a handful. They unanimously approve the rest of the consent calendar. (Milchiker absent.)
     5.9: Lang: next time, include earlier iterations of the mission statements, IVC, ATEP (show the changes). Otherwise all in favor. Passes.

     5.13: Lang: we accepted this fossil collection as gift, and now we have to pay $100,00 to get rid of it! Peebles responds: the collection is at ATEP. Two cargo containers. Excavated in Irvine in 96. Faculty of IVC participated on the dig. Staff wanted to keep this stuff. Turns out that the amount was more than staff could take care of. Dixie Bullock considered possibility of transferring back to County of Orange, but County already had more than it could deal with. Since then, CSUF has started taking care of County collection (of rocks and fossils and shit). To curate this stuff, funds required. This $100K a "beginning fee" to house this stuff. They'll deal with it forever after that. If we keep this stuff, we'd be obliged to work with it, show it, put it under glass. Fitzsimmons: we do have a policy on gifts and donations. There is a process in place for vetting gifts. Prendergast: to be clear: we pay this 100K or we spend more than that to build something to show it ourselves? Peebles affirms. The thing get approved.

     5.16: Lang: bids for removal of hazardous waste. Blah, blah, blah. Approved.

     5.18: Lang: Five Year Construction Plan. Projected student growth, declined. I guess the point is that we didn't grow as much as we thought we would, and this affects eligibility for money from the state. Lang: what was the reason for decline in enrollment? Brandye comes up: the state uses models to project enrollments ( one approach is called "triage"). Over-projected. Projected is higher than reality, and that works in our favor (except when they change methodology). A bit bewildering. Approved.

     6.4 The budget. SOCCCD FY 2012-2013 TENTATIVE BUDGET. Approve?

Fitzsimmons: identifies team. Groundbreaking year. Planning and budget. Blah, blah, blah (you know how this stuff gets). The final budget will arrive in August (for approval).

$549.4 million; 196 unrestricted general fund. 16 restricted GF. Other: 337.5

Taxes: flat. Fee revenues will go up 20% (conservative). Increase in tuition. (Our funding is a proportion of local property taxes: basic aid)
(I'm not taking many notes here, cuz they wouldn't mean much. You know me and fiscal issues.)
Total available for basic aid $74 million. Hope that means something to you out there.
She keeps saying we did this or that "to be conservative." So that sounds good, I guess.
State categorical funding .95 of last year's final budget.
I like her, I do, but I do wish she'd stop.
How will the state situation impact us?
Speculated that two further districts will join basic aid this year. All very dicey, I guess.
More impact on state categorical funds. (negative)
Any trustee questions?

Lang: To Burnett. Scheduled maintenance: IVC was putting greater percentage to maintenance, even though a newer campus. What's up with that? Lang: colleges must make appropriate maintenance, not relying on Basic Aid.

Burnett: biggest issue with Saddleback College, maybe whole district. Blah, blah, blah.
Tentative budget approved.

If I were you, I'd stop reading HERE. Really, I'm only thinking of your best interests.

     6.5: Saddleback and IVC student government tentative budget. Alvarez introduces student government kid. Eric Bremen(?) "Conservative and practical budget." Blah, blah, blah. I'm dyin'.
     The kid's hair is impossibly black. He insists on going on, explaining this and that, and he'd better finish quick. Shows charts, graphs. He's killin' me with this goddam stuff. The trustees barely pay attention. They're dyin' too. Meldau does best job seeming conscious. I'm impressed. He's my new role model.
     The kid keeps staring down at his paper, reading relentlessly. He looks up mechanically every few seconds. Pretty good I guess, but I'm beginning to hate him anyway. C'mon kid. He's slick, I guess. Who knows. He's got a nice blue shirt with black/silver tie. He's practically a stick, so thin. 
     Speaking of sticks, the trustees are dead now, I think. Jay is obscured by a piece of paper: he'd be the first to go.
     Prendergrast is sinking into his chair. The student trustee looks like a mannequin leaning against a corner of Macy's, motionless, perfect. Prendergast is stabbing himself in the cheek. Good idea. The kid is lost, says he has jumped "ahead of myself." No one cares. Please be done, kid with hair. Please?
     In truth, he seems like a perfectly nice and smart kid. But that mouth is relentless. That 94-year-old guy is only five feet from 'im. Doesn't this kid realize that he's probably killing that old man? That old guy is staring into space, as if thinking: "I've been through so much shit in the last 90 years; this shit shall pass too. This is kidstuff."
     He just said "in conclusion"!!!!!! Yes!
     ANY QUESTIONS? OF COURSE NOT.
     They approve the damned thing.

     Now the IVC kids. They are more kid-like. Uh-oh. And Helen Locke seems to be in charge of 'em. A recipe for disaster.
     There's a technical snafu. They're all staring at the screen while some tech guy tweaks dials.
     The male kid speaks. Goes through the usual hellos. Good God. Our student government president could not join us, he says, "because of his personal issues." --Yeah, he really said that. I hear laughter. Maybe just in my head.
     They continue. Blah, blah, blah. --OK, this kid isn't nearly as good as the last one, but his hair is just as black. The little girl, too. Really black, great hair. They do go on. My God.
     It isn't really that bad, but it's the context, you know. Prendergast is holding up his head with his hand. His face seems to be seeping through his fingers and onto the floor. Bill Jay seems to be taking notes, which is impressive, but surely a dastardly illusion and no more. Meldau is the most dignified. Boy, he's good! Looks like he's paying attention--but wait! Now he's sticking his finger in his mouth, gouging himself. I understand, I do. Must....maintain....consciousness.....
     Nancy is maintaining the face of seriousness, but not interest. No eye-rolling tonight. She's being good.
     The kid now says, "Our next program..." Nobody is listening. I bet even he isn't listening. Helen gives me a disapproving glance. I straighten up. The old guy is fingering his bouquet of flowers. I do believe he's weathering this horror better than anybody in the room. So that's interesting: maybe if you get really old, you can take just about anything. Just gotta make it to 94.... But maybe he's only breathing, like a lizard. That's the secret, then. Minimal operation; near death.
My Favorite McLendon
     This kid continues to read his prepared meandering remarks. The little girl next to him looks supremely uncomfortable. She seems worried, but I think that's just a young kid look of some kind. Who knows what these whippersnappers are thinking about. If she's smart, she ain't thinking about this stupid budget.
     They're flashing numbers on the screen, and this inspires Prendergast to spin in his chair.
     GOOD GOD, THEY'RE DONE! NO QUESTIONS. SMART.
     They approve the dang thing. Helen smiles. These kids get applause and wander joylessly to their chairs. Who knows what goes on in their heads?

6.6 is about software from hell. Approved.
6.7 Board Policy revision. TRUSTEES DO NOT HAVE QUESTIONS, DO NOT WISH TO SPEAK. THEY VOTE. yes yes yes
6.8 More policies for review and study.
. . .
     They just keep it up. You've gotta give 'em credit. This is brutal. I'd rather collect lint from people's pockets and form the pile into a fine bird's nest. Or stuff it down my throat as an attempt at suicide.
     Now they're on 6.15. Don't ask me about the stuff in between. Bugay seems to be explaining that this item represents lots of dialogue and stuff and you'd better pass it. It does pass.

     Now at 7.1 Report on Speakers. Good Lord.
7.2: basic aid. No changes from last month.
7.3 Facilities plan....
7.4 Financial status report.
7.5 blah blah blah

     Next comes reports from groups. C'mon, that can't be worth hearing.
     Bob C is speaking. I love Bob, I do, but I can't take any more of this. Bob is saying something important. I wonder what it is. I don't care. I'm outta here.
     DAMN. I can't leave. I've got my laptop attached to a chord which is attached to something poking out of the floor seven feet to port. I ain't gonna crawl over there and undo this thing. Not now. Good God.
     Claire C is now speaking. Sounds good. I wonder what it is? It is all too horrible.
     IVC Academic Senate Prez speaks. The Senate is "in repose" in the summer, she says. She's impressed that the Saddleback faculty are so dang busy in the summer. Down at IVC, it's like a rule: don't do anything. Don't answer the phone. Keep away. Not that Kathy says any of that. This is the thing about Kathy: she's got stuff to say, and she insists on saying it. OK, she's done. Whew!
     Now Peebles. A sad job, explaining ATEPery. It's like a report on the further decline of, say, the Grand Canyon or the surface of the moon. No, it's like reporting on the rotting of an old peach in your refrigerator. No, it's like--he's done!
     Oh, it's Glenn. His head bobs a bit as he chirps. He says pleasant things, Mr. Chirpy. Now he's singing the praises of the Chancellor. (He's messing up Gary's strategy of being invisible tonight. Gary is manifestly perturbed. It's exactly as though he is being insulted mostl foully.) He congrats Gary for good vibes or something.
     There's some kind of technical snafu which makes it sound as though Glenn is sharing the mike with a piece of wood slowly being twisted in two. Glenn is oblivious. The audience is in a coma. The wood is torn in half, hideously, screeching.
     Now Burnett: blah, blah, and blah. He says "divorce" instead of "diverse." Why not? He's pretty chirpy, too, but in a more aggressive fashion. Glenn is like a breath of empty air. Burnett is like a slug of goo, right in the face. The man is going on. Good Lord. He's still going. He looks sweaty and uncomfortable. Now he explains that he'll start his vacation "in three and a half minutes."
     Blah, blah, blah. Please go now, early.
     Bugay: his mouth is moving. Is he saying something? Probably. Seems very nice. "STRS has changed how they do business," he declares. This will mean X6!4-b-=842h9, he says. I dunno. He's done.
     Fitz: very earnest, but I've heard enough from you lady. (I do like her, really.) She's very pleasant. You don't actually have to listen. It's a chirpy vibe.
     Classified senate.... blah blah blah
     Blah blah blah (somebody new) blah blah blah blah blah .........
     We're finally down at the student end of the table--the absolute end. Just once I'd like to see one of these kids say something worth saying. "I got nothing" would be good. Mr. Dark Hair is brief. Then IVC gal: she's "actually Vice President," not the Prez, who has personal issues. Seems smart. That was not evident previously. Good Lord, girl, finish up.
     Thanks thanks thanks.
     Nancy says: adjourn in honor of former trustee Fuentes. That won't undo what you've done, lady.
     That's it.

3 comments:

  1. Job well done! Thanks!

    ReplyDelete
  2. You made Frank Mickadeit MAD haha!

    ReplyDelete
  3. Thank you, Roy! The names and faces change but the shit just keeps on flowing!

    ReplyDelete

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