A turd wrapped in a board inside a building
I sat there, trying to make sense of it. The dang thing was, like, a riddle wrapped in a mystery inside an enigma.
—Well, no, it was more like a turd wrapped in a board inside a building.
At about 6:45 (the meeting was set to start at 6:30), Chancellor Mathur wandered out, looking like a dog with his tail between his legs. Don’t know why.
Soon, Nancy Padberg appeared, and then everybody else showed up, except for Marcia Milchiker, who was absent owing to the recent death of her mother-in-law, Celia.
Nothing was reported from the closed session. Williams did the prayer and Fuentes did the Pledge. None of the trustees gave a report.
Like I said, grim and odd. Perfunctitudinal.
Chancellor Mathur reported that summer enrollments are up, and early indications for the Fall are good, too. Nobody seemed to care. Move on.
For some reason, item 4.8—the Study Abroad Program to Salamanca, Spain—was pulled from the agenda. Nancy Padberg pulled three items from the consent calendar, but that didn’t add up to much. She's a bit of a nitpicker.
The new Director of Facilities, Planning, and Purchasing (Brandye D'Lena) was introduced. She seemed pleased.
There was a tag-team PowerPoint presentation about Energy Conservation Measures and Sustainability. The first guy told us all about swimming pool covers, nighttime water chilling, sunlight reflecting roofs, and “cogeneration.” He used the word “utilize” maybe twenty times.
Somebody else got up to talk about hazardous waste, fluorescent tubes, and solar energy. Then the gkkworks boys got up there and blathered about the wonders of sustainability. It’s “the right thing to do,” they said.
One of ‘em, a tall, blond guy, had this low, gentle voice, and I do believe he put everybody to sleep. I almost expected somebody to say something about it—"Could you stop being so goddam dull?"—but they never did. People are sort of polite, even when they’re peevish.
Eventually, Park Ranger Kopecky got up and injected some energy into the proceedings. He said something about how, sustainabilitywise, or energywise, or some other-goddam-wise, ATEP is “state of the art,” unlike these “antiquated sister colleges.” That got a laugh.
It was weird to laugh among so much peevitude. After the laugh, everybody’s face returned to its rictus of resentment, or whatever it was.
At the end of the presentation, Fuentes stoically led everybody—the audience was tiny—in meager applause. So perfunctory was this applause that it sounded like "fuck you fuck you fuck you...."
The Police Officers Association “master agreement” was approved. Two cops in blue stood in the back and stared.
THE TURD: MATHUR'S NEW CONTRACT
Soon, the trustees got to the Chancellor’s new contract. It’s a sweet deal, boy, and it goes to 2011. Only Padberg spoke to it, though she only commented on “ambiguities” in the language and some typos.
In the end, with Milchiker absent, the contract was approved 4 to 2, with Jay and Padberg casting the dissenting votes. Mr. Wagner voted right along with Williams, Fuentes, and Dave “the quisling” Lang. Wagner looked pretty sheepish. He tried not to, but it was no use. Even the Lord was pissed at 'im.
It all went down very quickly, easily. Bada bing, bada boom. I just don’t know what to tell you.
The police chiefs got up and yammered about “emergency preparedness” for a while, but my heart wasn’t in it. I didn’t hear anything they said. I guess we're prepared, or something.
Mr. Fuentes finally received his nasty little report that lists employees with “earnings over $90,000,” but we heard no details and he had nothing to say about it. Maybe the facts weren't to his liking.
The reports from the presidents and governance groups were unremarkable. The Faculty Association’s Ken W reported that contract negotiations are “proceeding in a reasonable manner.” He hoped that the two sides would reach agreement within a couple of months.
That was about it. Everybody grimly stalked out of the building to sleep or get drunk or watch “The Closer.”
Me, I got in my Chrysler 300, cranked up the Pixies' "Where is My Mind?", and cruised into the cool, black night.
See also Tracy's Board Meeting Highlights
1. Chancellor. Dr. Mathur is hereby employed for a period of time commencing on July 1, 2007, and ending on June 30, 2011, as the District’s Chancellor. Dr. Mathur shall also serve at no extra compensation in the role of the District’s chief executive officer and secretary to the Board of Trustees. The position of Chancellor is hereby designated as an educational administrative position as defined in Education Code Section 87002(b).
2. General Terms and Conditions of Employment. This Agreement supersedes and replaces all prior agreements and understandings of the parties in connection herewith, including, but without limitation, the agreement between the parties covering the period July 1, 2005 through June 30, 2008, and any amendments to that agreement. This Agreement is subject to all applicable laws of the State of California, the rules and regulations of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges, and the rules, regulations, policies, and procedures of the District, all of which shall be made a material part of the terms and conditions of this Agreement as if set forth in full. This agreement shall prevail over any conflicting District rules, regulations, policies or procedures.
4. Salary. The base salary for the 2007-2008 college year shall be $237,261. The base salary shall be paid in 12 equal monthly installments with proration for a period of less than a full year of service. For each year of this Agreement, including the 2007-2008 college year, the base salary provided in this Agreement shall be increased by the State Budget Act’s funded percentage COLA for community college districts without further action by the Board of Trustees. Dr. Mathur will receive this increase to base salary at the same time that other academic administrator’s receive a salary increase at least equal to the COLA described above. If, during any year of this Agreement, academic administrators receive an increase that is greater than or less than the COLA described above, Dr. Mathur shall receive the same percentage increase to his base salary. Any adjustment in salary during the term of this Agreement shall not be interpreted as a new agreement or operate as an extension or renewal of this Agreement.