Tuesday, July 25, 2017

The origins of our college district, Part 8: the twisty, unpredictable, curious and dubious episodes that led to the choice of the “north campus” site (part A)

     IN THIS POST: noting board disquietude, early in 1975, Norrisa Brandt of the Saddleback board of trustees calls for a discussion of the very idea of a community college—and of the longterm goals of the district. 
     Ten months later (January, 1976), new trustee Frank Greinke of Tustin senses board disunity concerning THE BIG ISSUE—namely, the district's second and northern campus. To get things moving, he proposes establishing a citizens advisory committee with two community members chosen by each trustee—a procedure guaranteeing strong representation for the City of Tustin. 
     The bumptuous Mr. Greinke approaches the Tustin City Council, asking them for a resolution “supporting the concept of a Tustin area campus of Saddleback College.” They provide it. Meanwhile, conservative trustee, Bob Bartholomew, carps brutishly about the faculty's proposed campus calendar, claiming that it reflects selfish faculty interests. Here and elsewhere, the board is divided between a conservative faction (Bartholomew, Berry, and perhaps Greinke) and a more progressive faction (Taylor, Brandt, Marshall). 
     In May, conservative trustee Donna Berry, seeking to reduce district costs, leads a successful effort to eliminate the "6 unit rule," a rule allowing Tustinites (and other Saddleback district residents) to transfer to other districts' colleges (e.g., Santa Ana College) without securing permission paperwork. The upshot is fewer transfers, lower "tuition" costs for Saddleback.
     Natch, Tustinite trustees (Greinke, Backus), aware of their constituencies' desire to attend Orange Coast and Santa Ana Colleges, fail to support Berry's cost-cutting move.
     Trustees confront a likely financial shortfall of about $3 million caused by new legislation. They pursue cost-cutting and new revenue more vigorously. They consider charging costs to students who take non-credit craft courses and the like. Discussion of this option brings out philosophical differences between trustees concerning the nature of "college." 
     In mid-May, the Citizens Advisory Committee provides its report concerning pursuit of a second, northern campus. It urges the board to buy land (for a 2nd campus) immediately. It highlights longterm complaints especially among Tustinites about the distance to Saddleback college.
     The college produces a document concerning "priorities," but some trustees carp that it does not sufficiently emphasize vocational and technical (even agricultural) instruction. Trustees feel pressure to increase taxes for maintenance, repair, construction, and (mostly uncompensated) growth while attempting to honor conservative anti-tax desiderata. Meanwhile, Saddleback faculty move to strengthen their union. Sparks fly.
     Philosophical differences again arise when Superintendent Lombardi reveals a document describing the kind of college the district is attempting to create. Lombardi's collegiate assumptions clash with local notions.
     Pursuit of a second campus continues. By September (1976), three sites are under discussion: on Myford, east of the Santa Ana Freeway; on Culver, west of the freeway; and on Jeffrey @ the Santa Ana Freeway. The board is very divided, and worries about costs and taxes resurface. Greinke, of Tustin, insists that the Myford site (@ today's Tustin Marketplace) is ideal. Tustinites commence clamoring for the Myford site, feeling entitled to a campus in or near Tustin. On a 5-1 vote, Berry dissenting, the board chooses the Myford site. While Tustin celebrates, trustee Bartholomew carps about the immorality of Day Care Centers.
     In November, Bartholomew resigns and moves to Carpinteria. The board is down to six members.
     In January, the Irvine Co. upsets the applecart by attempting to withdraw its offer of the Myford site, recommending, instead, a new site at Jeffrey and Irvine Center Drive in Irvine. Its motives seem obscure. Meanwhile, the Tustin City Council behaves oddly with regard to the annexation and zoning of a 425 acre parcel owned by the Irvine Co—and including the Myford site.
     With the Irvine Co.'s withdrawal of Myford, SHIT HITS FAN. HORNSWOGGLERY SUSPECTED. —RB

February 1977
     Note: some of the early trustees were very big on "vocational education" and the like, while trustees more familiar with higher education often found themselves protecting the liberal arts. Some trustees seemed hostile to faculty right from the start, as if instructors were children, requiring manipulation—or stallions, requiring "breaking." The "business man's" perspective often prevailed on the early boards—a perspective that clashed with faculty and their collegiate ways. Others—such as Ms. Brandt—seemed to be pro-faculty. She seemed fairly progressive, despite being a Republican (her bio is very interesting; she ran for Secretary of State in 1978; thereafter, she abandoned politics for teaching).
     Often, it appears that the Superintendent or Chancellor, such as Mr. Lombardi, was like a marriage counselor, attempting to keep things moving along and civil. I suspect that Lombardi held his tongue a great deal of the time. There seemed to be a fair amount of loose cannoneering on these early boards—as when Mr. Greinke visited the Tustin City Council (see below). Some trustees, such as Donna Berry, seemed to be (despite her right-wing politics) very dedicated to the community's college and its development. She had volunteered in various capacities from the first days of the College. I get the sense that she was very sincere and passionate about being a trustee. Eventually, she got fed up and moved to Northern California to make wine.
     It's easy to like these people. —RB


     Some members of the Saddleback board feel it would be useful to hold a “discussion” about the college’s “goals” and about what a junior college should be. It is scheduled for April 7 (1975). The notion came from trustee Norissa Brandt, but soon-to-be-seated trustee Frank Greinke agrees that such a discussion would be valuable.
     (“Saddleback JC Goals Slated for Discussion,” Tustin News, 3-27-75)

JULY 1975:

     • Saddleback’s “certificated and classified” personnel receive a 12.1% pay raise.
     Bob Bartholomew, board president, voted against the raise, but Backus, Brandt, Jim Marshall, and Larry Taylor approved.
     (“12.1% Salary Hike Okayed by Saddleback,” Tustin News, 7-17-75)

"Saddleback College, North Campus" orange pick; 1979



     • “Stating he was concerned about the polarization on the Saddleback Community College District board on what approach should be taken on a second campus in the northern end of the district, [new] Tustin Trustee Frank Greinke proposed an advisory committee to study the issue.”
     “Greinke suggested that each trustee nominate two members of the community from their various districts to study the matter.”
     “Greinke proposed a 60 day time limit after which the committee would report its findings back to the board.”
     “The board generally agreed with the concept….”
     (“Greinke Proposes Advisory Group on 2nd, Campus,” Tustin News, 1-29-76)



Mr. Greinke, c. 1991: lies
about where he lives
     • “Asking for support for a second campus, Saddleback College Trustee, Frank Greinke, told the Tustin City Council, Monday, that he has told his wife and children to lie about where they live in order to attend Orange Coast College in another junior college district. … Greinke, like many Tustin residents, feels that the district forces them to swear to false information simply because the distance between Saddleback and Tustin is so great. Santa Ana College, Orange Coast College, in Costa Mesa, and Golden West College in Huntington Beach are all closer in time and distance to Tustin than Saddleback College, which is about 20 miles away.”
     “The Tustin businessman … asked the council for a resolution supporting the concept of a Tustin area campus of Saddleback College.” They did so.
     (“Greinke Seeks Council Support for 2nd Campus,” Tustin News, 2-5-76)
     (Re the fate of the illustrious, if bumptious, Mr. Greinke, see Register Obit, 4-23-05.)


     • “A resolution to form a citizen advisory committee on the issue of a second campus in the northern end of the Saddleback College District was approved 4-1 by the board Monday night.” The committee, with two members from each trustee area, is to produce a report by April 12.
     Trustee Larry Taylor voted against the resolution. Taylor thought it was too early to be talking about a second campus. Greinke and Marshall were absent.
     (Saddleback Sets Advisory Board on 2nd Campus,” Tustin News, 2-12-76)


     • There were some fireworks at the meeting when instructors presented a proposed 160 day calendar. Trustee Bob Bartholomew pushed back, proclaiming that he would not be a “rubber stamp.” Bartholomew and Donna Berry voted against the calendar. Backus, Taylor, and Brandt supported it. Lacking the necessary four votes for action, the matter was reagendized.
     Bartholomew opined that the calendar reflected faculty interests. “It’s for the sole benefit of the teachers,” he declared.
     A discussion emerged concerning the lack of interest in inservice training among faculty. The faculty union president explained that, too often, inservice involves being lectured at for hours. The inservice of the proposed calendar was different. It’s part of a three-year pilot project.
     Mr. Bartholomew declared that “the average student does not like to take a month off in the middle of the year … He wants to get out earlier” in order to pursue jobs.
     Faculty then explained why Bartholomew’s suggestion would be problematic, as did the dean of students.
     Ms. Berry stated that “we get so caught up in change for change sake…. It does not always mean that it is good.”
     Mr. Taylor pleaded with the trustees that they listen to faculty and administration. “Let’s evaluate it and see how it works,” he said.
     ("Bartholomew 'No Rubber Stamp on Saddleback Calendar Issue,'" Tustin News, 2-12-76)

APRIL 1976:

     • In April, the advisory committee on the second campus was given an extension to May 10 [to provide their] … report. Back in February, the deadline for the report had been set for April 12.
     (“Saddleback JC Seeks Additional State Funds,” Tustin News, 4-1-76)

     • A week later, trustee Norrisa Brandt “was unanimously elected president of the Saddleback Community College District board….”
     “Elected vice president was Frank Greinke of Tustin in a split vote. He was opposed by Larry Taylor who had been nominated by Pat Backus. Taylor in turn was nominated for clerk by Greinke and was elected.”
     (“Norrisa Brandt Elected Saddleback Board Head,” Tustin News, 4-8-76)


     • Trustees vote (5-2) to abolish the “six unit rule which allows Saddleback … students to take up to six units at other community colleges without getting an inter-district attendance agreement….” El Toro’s Donna Berry presented the motion. Greinke of Tustin and Brandt of Irvine opposed it.
     (“Saddleback JC Board Abolishes Six Unit Rule,” Tustin News, 4-8-76)

     (Permitting Saddleback district students, such as Tustin students, to attend Coast and Rancho Santiago colleges cost the Saddleback district expensive "tuition." From a financial perspective, allowing these students to "transfer" in this way was a hard-to-justify expense, incurred owing to steady complaints mostly from Tustin about the distance to Saddleback College. —RB)

MAY 1976:


     • In May, the board learns that, if Senate Bill 2790 passes, it would do away with SB 6, “special legislation which aided young and growing community colleges financially….” Says trustee Batholomew, “It [i.e., 2790] penalizes a district that is growing.”
     “Taylor called Sacramento’s handling of school financing a 'conglomerate mess.'”
     (“Saddleback Faces $3 Million Loss,” Tustin News, 5-6-76)


     • Also in May, in view of the district’s shaky finances, the board agreed to charge a fee “for recreational type courses,” as do other local college districts.
     “Another item that arose was offering adult education classes.” Concerning that idea, Bartholomew worried about competition with the high schools, who already teach adult, non-credit courses. Donna Berry was concerned how few non-credit courses are offered in our district compared with others. Ms. Brandt, board president, declared that “we are not in the adult education business.”
     (“JC Board Considers Course Fee,” Tustin News, 5-6-76)

Norrisa Brandt (1922-1989). Ran for GOP nomination for candidate, Cal Secretary of State, 1978


    • Also in May, the Academic Senate (i.e., faculty) proposed a faculty ranking system. Accordingly, “faculty members who have not yet earned tenure or who teach on less than a full-time basis be [‘]instructors[’] and those faculty members who have achieved tenure receive the rank of [‘]professor.[’]” Backus objected, offering an alternative that raised rank from instructor to assistant professor to associate professor to professor in four-year stages. Marshall worried that such a scheme would be unattractive to “highly qualified” teachers. Instructors feared that a complex ranking system would divide the faculty. Trustee Taylor said that “I hate to see it [based] ...  entirely on years of service. I’d like to see some way of obtaining professorship [through achievement].” The matter was tabled. It was agreed, however, that any scheme selected by the board would be presented to the academic senate for approval first.
     (“JC Academic Rank Proposal Under Study,” Tustin News, 5-13-76)


     • Also in May, the Select Citizen’s Advisory Committee (concerning a 2nd district campus) offered its conclusions to the board. According to the report, the district “should buy land now in a central location of the northern area and initiate a satellite program as soon as it is financially feasible….”
     One finding of the Committee was that “many residents of the district feel that they are not receiving an equitable share of the district’s educational services because of the lack of nearby facilities; there exists at present a need for educational facilities near the northern communities; projections indicate substantial growth in population.” [These “northern communities” are, of course, Tustin and Irvine.] Also: “the availability of desirable college sites in the northern area is limited and property prices are rising steadily….”
     The “final recommendation was that the board initiate a public information program to advise the citizens of the district about its plans for expansion and its effort to avoid increasing costs.”
     (“Buy Northern Site Group Tells Board,” Tustin News, 5-13-76)


     • Later in May, it is revealed that the “Saddleback Community College District is proposing a $19,385,000 budget for 1976-77, which would take $1.09 tax rate to operate it, a jump of 19 cents over last year….”
     Roy Barletta told the board that Assembly Bill “2790 … if passed could mean Saddleback would face at least a $3 million loss in revenue.”
     Barletta is a member of an alliance who is “attempting to amend the bill….”
     “The bill, as proposed, said Barletta, hurts community colleges who have experienced over 5 per cent growth in the past year. Although Saddleback’s growth was estimated at 16 per cent, it in fact jumped 42 per cent….”
     “Although Saddleback enrollment jumped 42 per cent, it did not receive any state support funds for anything over 5 per cent growth, Barletta explained.”
     “To recover this is the reason for setting a tax rate of $1.09 Barletta told the board.”
     “He added that the reasoning behind AB 2790 is that Sacramento is charging that too many recreational courses such as macramé, bridge, etc. are being offered at community colleges to gain false growth. Barletta noted last week that Saddleback offers only 3 per cent of its total curriculum for such non-credit courses. He added, ‘I do not think they intended to curb real growth and ours has been [real, not fake].’”
     (“19 Cent Tax Hike Proposed for SJC,” Tustin News, 5-20-76)


Norrisa Brandt, 1942
     • On May 20th, “Proposed Instructional, program, and physical plant priorities were presented to the Saddleback … board Monday night by the administration.”
     The priorities include: “Increase instructional service level; improve ratio in favor of full time faculty to part-time; establish on-campus occupational programs by conversion of the lower campus; strengthen off-campus programs with more day time courses; complete weekend, evening and one day colleges; charge fee for community service non-credit courses; and create interdisciplinary studies program.”
     “Physical plant priorities … were presented to the board with cost estimates to get started totaling $5 million….”
     “A majority of the board including … Bartholomew, …Berry, … Greinke and …Brandt …leaned toward vocational-technical programs as a top priority.”
     “Bartholomew said he was concerned by seeing in the budget over $2 million going to sports and recreation while only $327,000 was allocated to vocational education.”
     “Mrs. Berry also voiced concern for a heavier agriculture program….”
     Some priorities seemed “optimistic” about funding sources.
     “It’s more than optimistic,” said Taylor, “It’s a misstatement. We are probably going to have to go to a bond issue for support.”
     “Backus urged that research be done on what the [college] really needs ‘so we aren’t talking in generalities and have some statistics for establishing courses.’”
     (“Saddleback Board Studies Priorities,” Tustin News, 5-20-76)


Frank Greinke, 1974
     • Recently, a citizens’ committee recommended purchase of “a 100 acre site for the northern campus.” The issue now is how to fund that, and that was the topic of discussion Monday night.
     “The committee recommended the board continue its pay-as-you-go program…” [Avoid financing.]
     “Norrisa Brandt, board president, asked why the committee was not enthusiastic about bonds as a means of funding. The committee’s Harry Wandling answered, “We were much opposed to bonds. A bond issue is very hard to pass, it is difficult to get the correct information to the public and the cost is so much more, at least twice as much after paying interest over 30 years.”
     “Robert Price of South Laguna Hills [said] that with the Sterns tax, state monies could be made available for Saddleback to do all the things laid out in its master plan and keep the property tax the same.”
     Trustees “Bartholomew and Taylor said they … saw a conflict in the committee’s recommendation to purchase a northern site and start a satellite campus as soon as possible and that development of the Saddleback College campus be of central priority in the district for the next several years. ‘How are you going to resolve these together?’ asked Bartholomew….”
     “Price replied that the committee felt a second campus and continuing to build the present campus was feasible by rearranging priorities. He noted that 37 cents in Stern tax had been fixed for capital outlay programs over the next year and that $440,000 had been set aside for 1977-78 to purchase a site.”
     Bartholomew remained uncomfortable with the proposal.
     Trustee Greinke defended the plan. “Mrs. Brandt agreed with Greinke, telling Bartholomew, ‘You are going way out' and adding ‘We will never get anything with that thinking.’”
     (“Funding New Campus Concerns JC Board,” Tustin News, 5-27-76)


     • “Saddleback College’s CTA (California Teachers Association) Chapter filed their request May 10 for recognition as the exclusive bargaining agent for their faculty. Theirs is the first of Orange County’s four community college districts to do so.”
     (“Saddleback JC CTA 1st to Seek OC Recognition,” Tustin News, 5-27-76)

Robert Lombardi
     • “A request by the Saddleback College Faculty Assn. to be sole collective bargaining unit representing all teachers was unanimously denied by the Saddleback Community College District board, Monday night. However, in an amendment, the board did leave some room for the matter to be referred back to negotiations with their representative Roy Barletta, business manager, and the Faculty Assn. and for the request to be brought back to the board at a later date.”
     “The consensus of the board was expressed by Trustee Pat Backus who said, ‘You guys are not going to push me into something I do not understand.’”
     Evidently, Barletta had said that “one teacher group should not represent both full time and part-time teachers because authorities … ‘Doubt the appropriateness of the unit … there is not a community of interests among the contract regular and the temporary part time faculty.’” [That sounds right.]
     Angry faculty leaders labeled Barletta’s position “outrageous” and “ludicrous.”
     Reading a letter, the faculty union president said: “I urge the board to reverse its position, to grant us the recognition we are entitled to by law. It is inconceivable to me that the board wishes to adopt a repressive and warring posture after the improved relations of recent years have brought us so far….”
     “A list of 259 teachers who stated they wanted the Faculty Assn. to represent them was presented to the board. Saddleback has 125 full time faculty meaning the remainder of the 259 total are all part time employees.”
     Incoming Faculty Assn. president, Paul Brennan, said: “If the board ultimately denies this request, it is going to force us into the arms of CTA.” He stated he felt it was better to have Saddleback’s own local group be the collective bargaining agent for its teachers rather than an outside union group.”
     The issue might come back to the board next month.
     (“Saddleback Faculty Assn. Bid Denied,” Tustin News, 5-27-76)

(IT IS?)

Jim Marshall, 1953
Ran Wayland Baptist College

JUNE 1976:
     • “Saddleback Community College District trustees Monday night approved the Academic Senate’s request for released time for [union] officers [and administrative roles?], but again tabled until September the faculty’s request for academic rank. Both votes were 4-3.
     “Norrisa Brandt, board president, noted that this released time has been traditional, adding ‘This is all part of the educational system....’”
     Backus did not vote in favor of the reassigned time, saying he didn’t “know for sure exactly where we stand on this.”
     Taylor, Marshall, Berry and Brandt voted in favor. Bartholomew, Greinke, and Backus voted against.
     (“JC Academic Senate Officers Get Time Off,” Tustin News, 6-17-76)


JULY 1976:

     • “A faulty fume exhaust and air intake system in the Saddleback Community College science-math building has been releasing gasses from experiments back into the building over the past year and at least four times in the past two weeks, the Saddleback … board was told Monday night.”
     The board approved hiring engineers to prepare a study and recommendations.
     Still other studies were ordered. Expenses were beginning to add up.
     “Trustees … Greinke and … Bartholomew opposed the action. Greinke said he was ‘opposed to the blank check.’”
     For now, as a safety measure, no experiments will be permitted in the building.
     “…Backus [said]: ‘We could be subject to a law suit. I don’t want to see someone falling over from the gas.’”
     “Estimate given for correcting the problem was $35,000 to $85,000. The facility was a $4 million building designed by architects, Ramberg and Lowrey who have since gone bankrupt….”
     (“Exhaust Circulating Gases in Building,” Tustin News, 7-1-76)


     • “In a discussion of what a completed Saddleback College campus should be, Trustee Bob Bartholomew, who requested such discussion, told the board Monday night, “I’m disappointed that the vocational-technical facility is 10 years away and that the track and pool are scheduled for this year.”
     “[Superintendent] Lombardi’s idea of a completed campus was presented as what he personally would want to see in a particular time frame. … He noted that the board had the prerogative of choosing priorities….”
     Bartholomew wanted to wait on the pool and track and focus on educational facilities first.
    Brandt opined that she’d prefer for the classroom building to be built first.
     Lombardi noted that State support for that building awaited the “correct number of students per square feet available according to the state formula.” “My pitch for the track is that it is a teaching facility and also a community facility.”
     Lombardi also noted that vocational-technical instruction can proceed, using current facilities. What he scheduled for 10 years from now is the “permanent building.”
     Taylor supported the plan. “I don’t see any reason to oppose any of these things we have a need for,” he said.
     Greinke said Lombardi’s list was “excellent with a few exceptions,” which he did not identify.
     The board took no action.
     Lombardi’s 1976-80 list included: Library-classroom complex, science-math-engineering building, PE Gym complex, tennis and handball courts, music-drama-arts complex (all completed or under construction).
     (“Completed Campus Priorities Discussed,” Tustin News, 7-1-76)



     • “A request from Coast Community College District that Saddleback Community College District reconsider requiring an interdistrict permit for all students angered several Saddleback trustees Monday night.”
GOP stalwart, Donna Berry
Dedicated to the college from
the start
     You’ll recall that, back in April, Saddleback trustees, led by Donna Berry (but opposed by Tustin’s Greinke and Irvine’s Brandt) abolished the “six unit rule which allows Saddleback … students to take up to six units at other community colleges without getting an inter-district attendance agreement….” Now, student must secure agreements to transfer. The availability of instruction at other districts has long been an issue among Tustinites (and presumably, Irvineites), owing to the great distance between Tustin/Irvine and the Saddleback campus. But granting easy transfers entailed a high price tag for Saddleback. Requiring the securing of attendance agreements slowed things down a bit, lowering cost for the South County district.
     Berry and Taylor were especially miffed at Coast’s request (to go back to no-paperwork transfers for South County students).
     “If they want our 3872 students that bad, perhaps they should just accept them without cost to us,” said Mrs. Berry.
     “Taylor added, ‘For the past three years, we have paid $360 per student seat tax and built their buildings for them with that money.’ He noted that Orange Coast has an agreement with Santa Ana College in which each does not pay seat tax for their students to attend each others schools. ‘They do not give the same permission to us and we have paid for it dearly over the years. I agree with Donna, if they want them [Saddleback students), just accept them.’”
     Greinke chimed in with similar sentiments.
     (“OCC Request Anger Board at Saddleback,” Tustin News, 9-2-76)


     • “A public hearing on the northern area campus has been set for Sept. 27 in Irvine by the Saddleback … board Monday night.”
     What remains to be decided is the location of the new campus.
     Trustee Donna Berry recommended soliciting citizens’ ideas about the location to catch easily unforeseen difficulties. Trustee Norrisa Brandt suggested that the meeting be held in either Tustin or Irvine, the communities most affected.
     Three sites are now under discussion: “Myford, east of the Santa Ana Freeway; Culver, west of the freeway; and Jeffrey at the Santa Ana Freeway.” [The site eventually chosen—on Jeffrey and Irvine Center Drive—does not seem to be mentioned here.]
     “Although the site issue was up for consideration Monday night and the board had the appraisers’ reports and a preliminary EIR, most of the trustees felt there were too many questions unanswered [to choose among these sites].”
     Trustee Taylor focused on uncertainty about cost. “I don’t buy something until I figure out how I’m going to pay for it.”
     Trustee Greinke said, “I think we should take full benefit of the use of the Planning Departments of Tustin and Irvine.” But the latter organizations had not weighed in on these properties.
     At present, Greinke favors the Myford site; Bartholomew, Marshall, and Brandt favor the Culver site. Berry and Backus have not indicated their preference. Taylor seeks a site near the Tustin helicopter station. All other sites are owned by the Irvine Co.
     Greinke found the Myford location, adjacent to Tustin but in Irvine, to be ideal. “William Blurock, district architect, said he was ‘miffed’ that the Tustin and Irvine planning departments didn’t know what Greinke was talking about. He said ‘Planning reports have been placed in their hands.’”
     “After some more discussion and confusion on what the board was ready to do, it finally decided to set the public hearing for Sept. 27 in Irvine and that night to vote on a preference based on the information they have and seek answers to questions on that specific property. The selection of a preference does not necessarily mean that site will be the final one.”
     (“Saddleback Slates Hearing,” Tustin News, 9-16-76)

     • According to the Tustin News, “Enrollment officially climbed to a new record at Saddleback College last Friday (Sept. 10), when the registration total reached 11,983.”
     (“Saddleback JC Reaches Record High Enrollment,” 9-16-76)


     • On September 21st, Tustin Mayor Richard B. Edgar writes to Saddleback Superintendent Robert A. Lombardi: “The City Council and residents of the Tustin community have a vital interest in the most important decision your honorable board will make in selecting the site of the north-westerly campus….
     “We endorse site No I, located at Bryan and Myford….”
     Among the reasons offered: “The consistent position of the City Council, advisory committee, and area residents that the College site should be located at the nearest feasible location to the City of Tustin.”
     “In the long range perspective, site No. I is recommended as best reflecting the desires of this community.”
     (Published in the Tustin News, 9-30-76)


Robert Lombardi
     • According to the Tustin News (“Saddleback Board Picks Site As Public Speaks,” 9-30-76), “After hearing the views of Irvine and Tustin residents on a second site for a northern Saddleback College campus, the Saddleback Community College District board Monday night approved in a 5-1 vote the selection of 20 acres at the Bryan and Myford site, east of the Santa Ana Freeway.” (That’s roughly the location of what became “Tustin Marketplace,” off of Jamboree.) Of the three sites proposed, this one is closest to the City of Tustin.
     Trustee Donna Berry was the sole trustee to vote against the selection, citing the original EIR, which judged the Myford site worst for the development of a campus.
     The author of the EIR said he agreed with trustee Greinke that his report contained “qualifiers” and that “changes in the last year since the report was made have made the site more favorable….”
     Many who spoke favored the Myford site. Some Irvine residents were strongly opposed to the Culver site, owing to the foreseeable impact on traffic and parking. Superintendent Lombardi noted that the district was being discouraged from selecting the Jeffrey/Trabuco site, owing to proximity to the Marine base flight pattern. The Mayor of Irvine cited projected population growth in the area and the traffic that would produce as a point against the Culver site.
     A letter from Tustin’s mayor stated that “the city favored the Myford and Bryan site.”
     “Al Potenza of Tustin stated that … ‘Our most precious commodity is time.’ He said that having to travel over 20 miles to Saddleback was one waste of time and told the board ‘to get on with it’ and pick the Bryan and Myford site.”
     “Trustee Norrisa Brandt, board president, asked Bill Jay, dean of instruction, what kind of classes were planned when the satellite campus opened in the fall of 1977.”
     “Jay said that on opening day, the satellite campus could offer all the general education requirements for transfer to a four year college or university as well as for an AA degree. He said that the campus would probably include 20 to 25 classrooms including one or two science labs, a business lab and an art room. He continued that 40 various majors could be offered and a limited science program with beginning courses in all six science courses.”
     “Mary Boswell, who … lives in Irvine, said she was against the Jeffrey site because she lives near it and for three weeks last year the jet noise was so bad ‘we could not hear ourselves.’”
     On the other hand, “Lisa Secoli of Irvine urged the board to consider more than 20 acres. “I think 20 acres would be too small for a full scale college. I think you should acquire enough land for a full scale second campus at today’s prices.”
     Others voiced similar concerns.
     “Trustee Bob Bartholomew moved that the board select Myford and Bryan as the future site and was seconded by Trustee Frank Greinke.” Mrs. Berry repeated her EIR objections, but Architect Blurock “said that the problems could be overcome.” He acknowledged, however, that utilities would be “more expensive” at Myford compared to the other sites. On the other hand, at Myford, the land was cheaper.
     The “Vote was 5-1 with Mrs. Berry voting against. Trustee Larry Taylor was absent.
     The board then approved 6-0 buying 20 acres instead of the full 100….”
     Trustees seemed to agree that the district could not afford the 100 acres—unless they turned to a bond issue.
     “The board then adopted a Resolution of Initial Notice of intention to adopt of Resolution of Public Necessity in regards to the property with a hearing set for Oct. 25.”
     (“Bryan-Myford Chosen For Second Campus Site,” Tustin News, 9-30-76)


     • The Tustin News, which, it seems, was first to propose a “northern” (relative to South County) junior college campus years ago, congratulated the Saddleback board for voting approval of the Myford site. “Tustin trustees Bob Bartholomew and Frank Greinke have studied all the sites involved prior to the selection and we agree with their final decision which most of their fellow board members supported.”
     They looked forward to a Fall 1977 opening.
     (“Saddleback Site for New North Campus,” 9-30-76)



     • “Saddleback Community College District board of trustees Monday night approved architect’s drawings for the Child Care Center and authorized the staff to accept bids for renovation of ‘J’ Building for that purpose. The board also authorized the operation of the Child Care Center for the spring of 1977.”
     “Vote was 4-1 with Trustee Frank Greinke voting against and Bob Bartholomew not voting.”
     “Greinke said, ‘I think the responsibility of caring for children belongs in the home and not in a college.’”
     “Bartholomew, who had said nothing during the vote, told the News, ‘I didn’t abstain. I just didn’t vote. I’ve been against this thing from the beginning.’”
     “Several women and young mothers, who favored the child care center filled the room to hear the vote. Voting in favor were Trustees Jim Marshall, Larry Taylor, Norrisa Brandt, board president, and Pat Backus.
     (Plans Get Approval,” Tustin News, 10-14-76)

     • According to the Tustin News, “Saddleback Community College District board … will hold a special meeting … Monday, Oct. 18….”
     “Among actions to be taken will be the second reading for acquisition of the 20 acres at Bryan and Myford for the second campus site….”
     (“Saddleback JC Board Slates Special Meeting,” Tustin News, 10-14-76)



     • According to the Tustin News, “The Saddleback … board … in a 6-0 vote last week adopted a resolution of Public Necessity to initiate the first step of condemnation of 20 acres at Bryan and Myford for its second campus.”
     “The step is a legal procedure to get the land out of the agricultural preserve to avoid penalties that the Irvine Co. would have incurred and passed on to the buyer.”
     (“First Step in Getting New JC Site Taken,” 10-28-76)



     • “Trustee Bob Bartholomew of Tustin Monday night announced his resignation from the Saddleback Community College District board as of Dec. 15.”
     He explained that “he had relocated his nursery business from Tustin to Carpinteria [south of Santa Barbara] and would soon be moving.”
     He presented a “statement” to the board, which said, in part, “I will remain an interested party with particular concern for the development of the satellite campus in the Irvine-Tustin area.”
     Bartholomew had originally won election “to fill Hans Vogel’s unexpired term” in March 1974.
     (“Bartholomew Resigns from JC Board,” 11-25-76)


     • “[F]our [persons] have either filed or taken out papers for the Saddleback Community College District board, according to the Orange County registrar of voters.”
     “Two have filed for the Saddleback board. They are Eugene E. McKnight of San Juan Capistrano, a retired community college instructor and administrator; and Alan H. Greenwood, 2032 Salt Air Dr., in North Tustin, a dentist.
     “Those who have taken out papers, but have not filed for the Saddleback board are incumbent, Pat Backus of Dana Point and Carl Whitcher, 33761 Malaga Dr., Dana Point, an ROTC instructor.”
     (“Candidates for Boards File Papers,” Tustin News, 12-23-76)

     • On December 30, the Tustin News reports that, “only two more [candidates] have filed for the Saddleback Community College District board, according to the Orange County Registrar of Voters. Deadline for filing is … Dec. 30.”
     “Saddleback trustee area seats open are Area 4 (San Clemente-Dana Hills presently served by Pat Backus); Area 5 (Laguna Hills, presented served by Jim Marshal) and Area 2 (Tustin) – served by Bob Bartholomew until Dec. 15 when he resigned.)”
     “Only one person has filed for Saddleback College Trustee Area 2 in Tustin. He is Alan H. Greenwood, 2032 Salt Air Dr., a dentist.
     “Filing for Trustee area 4 was Eugene E. McKnight of San Juan Capistrano…. Incumbent Pat Backus of Dana Point has taken out papers for Trustee Area 4 but has not returned them as has Carl Whitcher….”
     “Two candidates have filed for Trustee Area 5. They are Robert Price …, Laguna Hills, a community administrator [?]; and incumbent Jim Marshall of Laguna Hills.”
     (“Candidates File Papers,” Tustin News, 12-30-76)

Donna Berry


     • The LA Times reports that “Saddleback Community College District trustees have scheduled a special meeting Monday to consider a proposal by the Irvine Company to change the location for the district’s proposed northern campus.”
     “In September, trustees approved the selection of a 20-acre site at the southern quadrant of Bryan Avenue and Myford Road, which is owned by the Irvine Company.”
     “This week, company representative Gordon Getchel told trustees that acquisition of that site “may not be in the best interest of the Saddleback Community College District, the Irvine Company and the community as a whole.”
     “He told trustees the site is surrounded by agricultural lands in full production and the campus would be subjected to the odor of organic fertilizers, large numbers of flies and noise from farm equipment.”
     “Getchel asked the board to consider a 20-acre site at the southeast corner of Jeffrey Road and Irvine Center Drive [where the campus is eventually built], which is also owned by the company. He said that site is more suitable for college development.
     “Trustees expressed displeasure that the Irvine Company had not raised its objections to the site in September but agreed to hear a report from Getchel on costs of purchasing and developing the alternative site at the special Monday meeting.”
     (“Saddleback Trustees Set Meeting on Campus Site,” 1-13-77)

     Note: the Irvine Co., along with the firm Donahue Schriber, built and developed the Tustin Marketplace, which first opened in 1988 (first phase); the Irvine Co. also owns Fashion Island and Irvine Spectrum. 
     The Bryan/Myford site is today part of the Market Place, including parking, a Chevron Station, Dick's Sporting Goods, and various other retailers. And, of course, the Market Place is in the parcel annexed by Tustin in 1976-7—RB


     • BUT WAIT A MINUTE. Simultaneous with the “North Campus Site” discussion was a debate, in the City of Tustin, concerning the proposal to “annex” a block of land that happened to include the proposed Bryan-Myford “north” campus site (aka site #1). It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to wonder if the Irvine Co. had found that the road to maximal profit was a plan that prevented the “north campus” from using up some of this land, land that promised to host many expensive residential dwellings.
     Let me know what you think. —RB

Annexation map


     • Meanwhile, the Tustin News reports that “The Tustin Planning Commission approved the pre-zoning of the proposed Irvine-Myford annexation Monday night after hearing protests from residents and a Tustin Unified School District official.” [See graphic/map]
     “The planning commissioners were holding a public hearing on the requested pre-zoning for 425 acres of agricultural lands owned by the Irvine Co. The [Tustin] City Council wants to annex this land into the city. They have reached agreement with the Irvine Co. over this action and were requesting the planning commission to endorse the pre-zoning of the area.”
     “Whether the land will be allowed to be annexed into the city or not will be decided on Jan 26 at a meeting of the Local Agency Formation Commission (LAFCO).”
     “The pre-zoning was needed in order to bring the area under the guidelines of the Tustin General Plan.”
Norrisa Brandt
     “The 425 acres are all presently farm land. They must remain so until Jan 1, 1985. Under the provisions of state law the acreage is an agricultural reserve and cannot be used for any other purpose as long as it remains so. It ceases to be a reserve in 1985.”
     “The city planning staff had suggested that the land be pre-zoned from agricultural to planned community….”
     “This proposal was met by opposition on two fronts. The commission received protests and requests for delay by both homeowners bordering the land to be annexed, and a Tustin Unified School District official (TUSD).”
     [Guess who?]
     “Hans Vogel, director of administrative services for TUSD, spoke on behalf of the district when he said that he did not “think the planning commission should act on this until the Tustin Unified School District has a chance to study it in depth.”
     “Vogel claimed that the district had not been notified of the commission’s hearing until last Friday…. Another bone of contention, said Vogel was the fact that the district was not even consulted on the computation of school enrollment figures should the area be developed residentially.”
     “Vogel claimed that the potential enrollment figures computed in the EIR were incorrect. The EIR, he said, showed a potential for 1400 students, and the need for two new elementary schools. The developer would be required to provide 10 acres for schools.”
     “Vogel claimed that the figures should read 1700 homes … with 1200 elementary students, 340 intermediate students, and 680 high school students. This would result in the need for two elementary schools, ½ intermediate school, and 1/3 of a high school. He said that just 1 elementary school requires 10 acres, so he was giving notice to the developer that 20 acres would be needed for the school sites. … He said that the existing high schools were already 50 per cent overcrowded.”
     “Vogel asked that the decision be delayed.”
     The homeowners also asked for a delay.
     “‘Why are we talking about annexation and all these plans, if the proposed development won’t be for all these years?’ Nancy Williams asked the planning commission. ‘My main question is, why does everything have to be decided right now?’”
     Another homeowner asked “why, if the land wasn’t available for development until 1985, Tustin was in such a hurry to annex it now.”
     “[Planning Commission Chairman Robert] Hill asked Community Development Director … Fleagle if there was a definite need for the commission to rule on the pre-zoning that night. Fleagle said that the delay would be critical. The council wished to act on the pre-zoning before the LAFCO meeting of Jan. 26….”
     “[The homeowners] were concerned over what type of development would be done on the land. Fleagle had said that there was nothing certain planned. ... [They] worried that the city was offering the land as a package deal to the land owners. Fleagle had disclosed that the owner, the Irvine Co., had been guaranteed of the density allowed. [Homeowners] thought that it sounded as though the developer would be given a free hand in whatever he wanted to develop as long as it met the four unit density.”
     “All three of the homeowners voiced their fear that the area would be developed commercially, at the expense of their property….” [In fact, the parcel ultimately contained “Tustin Marketplace” on Jamboree.]
     “[Commissioner Bill] Robbins suggested that their “best chance is if this is in the City of Tustin….”
     “The commission, after hearing all the arguments pro and con, voted 4-0 … to approve the pre-zoning and send the matter to the city council for another hearing next week. Fleagle suggested to Vogel and the homeowners that their protests could be heard at the council level.”
     ("Irvine-Myford Pre-zone Approved Over Protests," Tustin News, 1-13-77)

...TO BE CONTINUED (part B)...
IVC nowadays
Looking over Mission Viejo from Laguna Hills, c. 1978
Tustin News, 5-3-79

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