Monday, February 22, 2016

The February board meeting: Board Prez Jemal sports a WTF look - $36 million stadium? Really?

Run, hide, fight, say "cheese"
     6:24 - OK, here we are for the February meeting of the SOCCCD Board of Trustees. I don't expect this meeting to be special or interesting, but we'll see. [Below: discussion of possible Saddleback stadium—and ever-expanding price tag!—is interesting.]
     The trustees are running loose in the building, with some of them wandering the aisles. They seem pretty chipper. Spunky even. (Wright is absent, and that heightens the spunk factor.)
     Tonight's discussion item is:

4.1 - Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College: Board Report Active Shooter Preparations and Training 
     Representatives from Saddleback College and Irvine Valley College will do a presentation and/or be available to answer questions regarding active shooter preparations and training at both colleges.

     Exaggerated fears plus guys with guns. This could get silly.

6:30 - The meeting begins! The Clerk (Lang) reads out actions taken in closed session (the meeting that started at 5:00): one report. 6-0 vote (Wright absent) leave without pay to part-time classified employee at SC.

     Rise for invocation, says Board Prez Jemal. Next: Pledge of A.
     Two requests for public comments:

     Doug Barr: 25th Anniversary of the college ("the college"? He means Saddleback, natch). Sign/poster outside. Blah, blah, blah. Many original faculty/administrators - "they're slipping away from us." We have an obligation to capture history "while it's still among us." Please join in this effort. We've got lots of work to do still.
     Pete Espinoza: brief statement. June 1977, I was hired as classified employee, then did EOPS program. Later assigned as assistant to Chancellor, then counselor. He takes pride in his career at the college. Announces his campaign bid for area 3 trustee. [That's the Jay seat. I do believe that Barbara Jay pledged not to run for office at the next election.]


     Prendergast: Went to Pathways conference. Then went to "Accounting" pathways. Yadda yadda yadda. President's cup game (basketball, I guess). Attended Mimi Walters event on safety(?). Thanks for outpouring of concern since last meeting. (Daughter turns out to be OK: a "weird panicky thing" is all.)
     Barbara Jay: Sacramento conference, learned a lot. Attended IVC board of governors meeting.
     Timothy Jemal: Attended South OC coalition economic forecast, etc. (Dean Tony Tang.) Well attended. Surpassed last year's presentation. Appeared on Laguna Woods channel 6. Different moderator. "It's a different kind of place now." (I think he was alluding to weirdness there.) Business council dinner.
     Dave Lang: also attended the big basketball game. Served on the audit committee: met with financial folks of the district, audit team. Went over plan for the year, issues. Foundations and their directors. Good meeting. Good plan for the current year. Kudos to these people who do such a great job.
     Marcia Milchiker: Attended Jack Schwarzbaugh's funeral; original administrator. There'll be a "history of Saddleback" project, and I'll donate to it. "I think the only college close to being as good as Saddleback College is IVC." (Ahem.) Attended SC science lecture series, which involved a chemist from UCI. She yammered about fluorescing ladybugs. Economic forecast luncheon.  Motown event, great music. We danced for an hour. (We all imagined this.)
     Terri Whitt: a great event: effective trustee workshop, a "growing experience" for me. Astonished at what trustees need to know. The only negative: couldn't be here for Jack's funeral. Economic report was "outrageously good." (Holds up flier.) "I am a Motown girl," she announces. Loved that event, "wonderful." The people in the audience really rocked (she said).
     Student trustee Lemar Momand: attended show put on by dance department. Teach-in on Islam, very interesting. Attended IVC meeting.
     Chancellor's report (Gary Poertner): Tim Jemal mentioned that we're getting a report tonight on "active shooter" situations. Police officers will explain preparations. One caution: this discussion is, of course, highly sensitive, so won't go into some details (that could be helpful to a potential shooter). March 22nd meeting, professional development, etc. Looking forward to it.
     IVC President Glenn Roquemore: we'll be discussing our construction projects. Trustees, you get "snapshots," but nothing "really big on the buildings themselves." First, the Liberal Arts Bld. Has been called "the Glacier," "Iceberg," or "Pin Cushion." (Laughter.) The plastic has finally been removed. Looks brand new! Hope to be moved in in the Fall. Also: restrooms for athletes. Finalizing drawings of yet another building. Need a new parking lot. ATEP building: looking at a November groundbreaking. (Yeah, sure.)
      Saddleback College President Tod Burnett: Science Building, opening October(?) 29th. Technology and Applied Science Bld. Blah blah blah. Athletic field, etc. Will pick contractor by summer. Gateway Bldg. Renovation of Math/Science. ATEP. These projects will transform Saddleback College. Trying to get them done by 50th Anniversary, in 2018.
     Student government kids, et al:..... Blah blah blah. Blah.

Board requests for reports? None.


The discussion item (see 4.1 above). (Requested by Whitt)

     Cops, et al., come up to podium. Carol H introduces two chiefs. Big build-up. She was really selling these guys.
     Chief Patrick Higa: Active shooter or "mass casuality" event is most dangerous. We're here to explain how we've prepared for that. "Infrastructure": best to neutralize the threat. Officers are well-equipped. (Yeah, they've got that tank.) Trained dispatcher. Shows slide of officer with gun, approaching suspect, tuned in to dispatcher.   (Pretty silly. People gobble this up.) Ability to lock down campus doors remotely. "Prevention": "at risk" training. Crisis intervention Team. "Advocate" online reporting. "Silent witness" reporting link. [This is a classic cop presentation: buzzes through factoids, indifferent to audience understanding. Lots of technical terms, the merest of buzzwords, jargon, annoying acronyms. Precious little light cast on what they're actually doing or are capable of.] Blah blah blah. On-going training and materials. We've been training with the Sheriff's Department. Safety videos, including "distress indicators," etc. Available to all employees. Folders--yes, folders--are available. Community emergency response team -- blah blah blah. Cops will seek input from governance groups.
      He shows one of the videos on "active shooter." (See above.) Shows what to do: "run, hide, fight." "Remember that." Take cover behind a tree. If you're hiding behind a car, stand behind the engine. Formulate a plan of escape. Close and lock any doors between you and shooter. Turn off lights. Phone the magic number: be prepared to give 5 pieces of info. Make sure your phone is silent, boy, or you could be in for it. "Only attack a shooter as a last resort." --End.
     Any questions? (Will wait until after Chief Glen's presentation.)
     Chief Will Glen (IVC): much more informal, human presentation:
     No way to prevent active shooter situation, but we can prepare. We work with Irvine Police and Sheriff's Department. E.g., we've had active shooter movement training. Also trained in hostage situation (with Tustin Police Department.) Have practiced door breeching with our training partners. (Boom!) We make plans, that's a big part of preparation. And active shooter protocols, instructing students, et al., what to do. Also, behavioral intervention. How to recognize indications that a person is a potential threat of some kind. Describes Flex Week event that went very well. We're developing advanced plans. Training videos available, including disturbed students video, "run, hide or fight" videos, etc. Mentions other kinds of training: a page is available with many items, resources. Student health center is developing a "triage" capability. LIE: Locate, isolate, and eliminate threats. Resources for post traumatic stress being developed. We've had six presenations related to run, hide, fight. Broad training provided to staff and students. Projects under way: blue towers on campus, stationed at various spots, flashes blue, making it easier for cops to find distressed individual. Almost ready to kick-off. Integrated security camera and door system. Dispatchers receive a call, look at camera where the problem is. Partnering with Saddleback on this. Also emergency manual door locks - a plate that attaches to the door (very simple). Anyone can use and operate. (See room A123 at IVC)
     Prendergast: likes Saddleback's video for "run, hide, fight." (I thought it was mighty hokey. See above.)  Questions re prep for students. How do we get the word out to students? Glen: great participation by students at our events. Higa: we rely on ads, fliers. (This sounds underwhelming.) We try to direct students to our website. Our plan is to reach out to governance groups. Prendergast: likes homeland security videos re run, hide, fight. "Very well done."  (Really?) Marcia: appreciates events, has attended some of them. One question: who are our dispatchers? Trained police officers? Higa: we make a point of hiring prepared/trained dispatchers, though they are not police officers. Marcia: I've received text messages during emergencies! Glen: we use Blackboard (Blackboard Connect), and another system for messages. Also, we send voice messages to the room. Marcia: found both websites, easy to find. Found videos, but couldn't find them for IVC. Glen: see column on left hand side. You'll see it there. Okey-dokey, says Marcia. Second location: Inside IVC (part of the college webpage). A couple of videos: employee training. Whitt: I'll meet with both of you privately. Jemal: thanks for excellent presentation. You're doing an outstanding job, and you're "pretty good presenters." (Is he trying to be funny? I laughed.)

Consent calendar: 5.6, 5.4 pulled.

Mass approval, unanimous.

Carol H
5.4. Saddelback College cafeteria operation services agreement. Carol comes up to explain details, blah blah blah. Moved, approved.

5.6. Travel abroad, Southeastern Brazil. Several comments.
     Whitt: just wanted to ask about safety re Student Travel, Brazil. Blah blah blah. Second trip, not the first one. Burnett: professors have gone here before. Re the virus: southeastern portion is not locus of outbreaks. Trip not until June. Large portion will have immunity by then. Lots of control measures by the governments. Blah blah blah. Students have insurance, etc. Marcia chimes in with concerns for pregnant women re virus. Item moved. Vote: unanimous except for Whitt's abstention.

General Action items:

6.1 - Marian Bergeson Award - no nominations
6.2 - Board of Governors Classified employee of the year award.  - unanimous approval


Brandye D
6.3 - 2018-2019 five-year construction plan.
     Fitz: blah blah blah. Brandye D'Lena (Fac/Plng/Purch/Mat Mgmt) comes up. Blah blah blah. Roquemore chimes in. Goes through list of projects. Changes, switching, etc. Brandye's all smiles as per usual. Her smiles usually prevail.
     Prendergast: any investigation about pool being available? Brandye: Needs to be part of planning processes. The process will be underway. Right now, says Brandye, no pool on the list. Needs to be put there. "Just sayin', it's a lot cheaper than a stadium," says Prendergast (laughter). (Prendergast has always been a pool booster.) Lang: trying to understand distinction between repair/renovation in terms of following spirit of Basic Aid (namely, one-time projects only; no ongoing expenses? Or maybe he is referring to dollar amounts). Brandye goes into distinction between district and college projects. Blah blah blah. Whitt: these projects will be going on simultaneously. Five of these will be going on at Saddleback, including parking(?). I think she was asking if there would be practical conflicts with that. Brandye: we've thought about all that. We're on top of it, man. Vacant lots will become parking lots, etc. Brandye gets cute about how she can't reveal what some of the contractors are saying they can do for us, blah blah blah. Marcia: asks about one of the projects; that project is a ways off still, says B. "It's just a renovation, right?" Yep. Putting in a new foundation. Have to jackhammer the slab out. (Wow.)
     Jemal: athletic stadium costs. They've doubled since last year. Brandye: last year, when we came to you with requests. It was $18 million for stadium. That concerned original design by consultant. Those numbers were used last year. We moved forward, met with "criteria architect."  Ideas were taken to faculty, staff. Has doubled to a $36 million project. So what we do? Process we use: if over budget, we go to college and give options. She explains how other resources became available (I had a coughing fit amidst Brandye's explanation, so I dunno). Jemal expresses consternation with this change in cost. Brandye discusses realities of working with these figures, plans, contractors, etc. Jemal: please don't come to us with "back of envelope" figures again, you dig? Everybody is in agreement. about that, I guess. Pendergast: $36 million just for stadium itself? Or field, etc. also? Brandye: Don't have exact answer. She rifles through files. The $36 million is indeed specific to the stadium.  Big money, man.
     Item is moved. Unanimously approved. We're approving priorities, not costs, at this point, reminds Jemal, who is peeved. Prendergast: when this first emerged, big push from foundation. It helps to have a vision to fundraise. Brandye passes question off to Burnett. Burnett says the foundation doesn't nearly have the money to cover this extra cost. Blah blah blah. They vote: unanimous
6.4 - ... Motion to approve. Unanimous.


Jemal: WTF?
6.5  - Cordoba Corp. (ADA transition plan) - Jemal has concerns about consulting amount ... Fitz: blah blah blah. Brandye is again asked to explain. Roquemore interrupts: both colleges very cognizant of ADA compliance. Jemal: this plan should have been in place a long time ago. No one can argue with that. Disappointed to see this on the agenda. Brandye: will address dollar value. We originally approved $400K. Legal advised us about best approach. Got new proposals. All within range we see here, which is much higher. It is a costly service. OK, says Jemal, who's pissed. They vote: unanimous.
6.6 - plan for STRS PERS rate increase. Fitzsimmons: a little bit complicated....Rate increases dramatic to reduce liability.... Blah blah blah. Lang: I've studied this item. I agree with idea of addressing this issue, this liability, now. Will this need to be recognized as a liability? (An accounting question.) Audit person steps up: our share of 30 year liability. This exact liability won't show up on our books. Lang: my concern about rec: the mechanism to fund it (basic aid); also, the time period. Lang: looks like it has to come out of basic aid (no alternative). Only question: what time period? All at once? Spread out? I suppose I'm OK with district's recommendation, over three years, says Lang. Not willing to accept recommendation as its made now. Separate trust fund for this. Fitz: team conferred about this. We're hesitant about... (I couldn't follow this.) Lang remembers OC bankruptcy. Influences him now, what with the new county civic center project they've undertaken (he doesn't like it, it seems). Pendergast: in agreement with trustee Lang. Talks about history that brought us here (rate had been reduced to become more manageable; created this bubble). Marcia: perhaps table this? Fitz: the cycle is starting, time's a wastin'. Jemal: are you willing to amend item (in accordance with our desires)? Motion to amend (in way favorable to Lang's worries, whatever they are). This will have big impact on other projects. Lang: I support funding this over shorter time. Yes, will impact other basic aid projects. but will be huge help to both colleges to fund it in this sped-up manner. Alternative: worse hit. Fitz: we did confer with college presidents about this (defending original rec). Marcia agrees to adjustment amendment. They vote: unanimous (as amended).

Lang: reluctant

6.7 - Board Policy revision, accept for review and study -- Lang: BPs 2100 and 3200 -- delegating additional authority to execute contacts before board approval. I understand arguments, says Lang. But reluctant to cede board oversight ... need a good discussion before it comes back to board for acceptance. Jemal agrees. Jemal didn't find compelling argument for delegating.... Agree with Lang that this needs to be thought out carefully. Jemal asks Fitz to explain delegation and approval.... Blah blah blah. Discusses issues in favor of "delegation," etc. (I don't really understand this.) Jemal: suppose there's contact approved by Chancellor; then it isn't approved by board. What happens then? Poertner: ratification is necessary, since approval can only be done by BOT. Theoretically, this can go very badly. "A real mess." Jemal remains unpersuaded. Prendergast: do we need a motion? Yes. A motion is made. Poertner: Originally, everything had to go to board, no matter how small the amount. An awful situation, didn't really work. The policy was made to keep the organization going, waiting for approval. (So Chancellor and crew were allowed to go forward with contracts within a certain dollar amount. Still, they required board approval after the fact.) The fiscal team has found that more and more contracts are large, etc. Someone (Lang? Jemal? --No, Prendergast) expresses faith in Chancellor and team to make these decisions, take these actions, as per revised policy (which increases dollar amount of item). Pendergast compares this to guest speaker situation: BOT approves a month after speaker has spoken and been paid. (Jemal isn't so sure.) Lang: some folks are gaming the system right now. "In some respects I'm offended by that." So don't really like this. What about our oversight? So they vote: no. A word has been changed. Now they vote: unanimous (except one no vote: Milchiker). Motion carries.
6.8 - Academic personnel items. Unanimous.
6.9 - Classified personnel items. Unanimous.
WTF? Precisely
6.10 - Probationary faculty, first year. Bugay: 97 faculty. Pretty ponderous project. 18 coming for first contract. ETc. 6.11 -- second year. 6.12 - recommended for tenure.  (3rd year is item 7.1 - two year contract; no recommendation for contract, already in middle of contract.) Unanimous vote.
6.11 - 2nd year probationary contact (two year contract). Unanimous.
6.12 - 4th year probationary. "Except for one of them." In the case of one is exception: Mike Engels. Applied to become interim dean. Thus cannot complete year as faculty member. Therefore, by law, will only be at 50%, etc. He's good. Michael knows about this, it's OK. He's removed from the list. Marcia mentions that someone on one list is also on resignation list. Bugay looks greatly bemused, perhaps consternated. He's told to explain. Bugay: if he's resigned, it would take precedence. So no problem.  Unanimous.

      They extend meeting time (anticipating Kathy Schmeidler's longwindedness, says Jemal). Unanimous.

7.1 - Third year probationary....
7.2 - College speakers....
7.3 - basic aid report. Fitz: 14 projects closed out....
7.4 - monthly financial status ....
7.5, 7.6....

Reports from governance groups:
     Blah, blah, blah...
     I'm outa here.

P.S.: Jemal looks like he's gonna be a great Board President.


Anonymous said...

It's nice to have your coverage return. Thanks.

Anonymous said...

I did not appreciate Milchiker's comment. " The only other college I know that is anywhere close to as good as Saddleback College is Irvine Valley College." IVC exceeds Saddlebags in many ways. Our academic and athletic programs, faculty and staff are head and shoulders above the gauchos. Thanks alot for the biased remark from an elected official that is to represent us all fairly. IVC should be its district.

Anonymous said...

Chief Glen's photo looks great. The photo of Chief Higa looks like a police arrest picture. Did Higa discuss how much money is needed for repair and maintain their heavy duty anti-terrorist vehicles?

Anonymous said...

The price of a new football stadium doubled from 18 million to 36??? OMG
Ridiculous. How about renewing the classified's contract.

Anonymous said...

Marcia Milchiker!? WTF!? Thank you for providing a stunning example of the problem in this district towards IVC with your innately moronic condescending disrespectful comment. Want to know why IVC responds the way it does to so many things - your comment made it crystal clear. And your comment is minor and doofussy compared to some of true vitriol Boards have allowed to be hurled upon us over the years. This Board is a big a pile of dung as any we have had - I blame them completely for the disastrous stunting of IVC's potential by the ignoring of the truth about IVC's management! These guys are a gaggle of insincerity and mean-spiritedness in my opinion.

Old—and insane (—and when <I>eugenics</I> was in the air)

Young Frieda Flueckinger, c. 1893      Here's another post on the historical blog I'm doing for a friend. You might find it i...