Do Not Trust the Trustees

On Thursday, November 17, the North Orange County Community College District held an the Environmental Impact Report scoping session for the Measure J funded improvements to Fullerton College.

As  you know from our previous report on this matter, the proposed improvements include a football field (estimated during the presentation to cost $4 million to build, so consider that a low floor to the likely final cost) but does not include improvements to the Veteran’s Center. When this discrepancy was addressed, Fullerton College President Greg Schultz gave the following explanation:

  1. We have to understand that the NOCCCD cannot do everything it would like to do with Measure J funds, so they have not been able to make the improvements to the Veteran’s Center at this time;
  2. The stadium will be funded through other funds, not Measure J money and he promises to not use Measure J money to build the stadium.

Let’s take these two responses one at a time, shall we?

First, the characterizing of the veteran’s center as just one of many improvements that the NOCCCD would like to perform is extremely dishonest. Let’s re-wind the clock again to back when NOCCCD sought voter approval for their $574 million construction bond:

This was the main image on the Yes on Measure J Facebook page, which is still up and running as of today’s date:

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This was the ballot statement for Measure J (nocccd_af). Note in pertinent part:

“YES on J • upgrades and expands Fullerton and Cypress Colleges’ veteran services and facilities.

“YES on J  • improves access for disabled students.

“YES on J • expands job-placement facilities to train veterans to re-enter the civilian workforce.”

Note the promise that “Measure J requires annual audits and an Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee to ensure every dime is spent as promised.” (emphasis added)

And of course this was one of the direct mail pieces sent out to gin up support for Measure J:

nocccd-mailer-2014-06-2500023

The veteran’s center was not just one promise among many, it was the single most prominent spending proposal in the Measure J campaign materials and ballot statement, and without that promise it is unlikely Measure J would have passed in the first place. By the way, I am getting off track here but note the reference to the “shameful” treatment of veterans by “our federal government’s veteran’s affairs department”. Specifically, the veterans affairs department continued to demand more taxpayer money to improve medical care to veterans, pocketed the money for the bureaucrats within the VA system and continued to offer shoddy treatment to veterans. Just how, exactly, is the treatment of veterans by the NOCCCD trustees any different?

Now, supposedly, according to Mr. Schultz, the NOCCCD is “scheduled” to receive funding from the state pursuant to the general obligation bond recently passed by the voters (Proposition 51). Even if the money does materialize, however, the fact remains that the NOCCCD did not keep its promise to veterans and to the voters regarding the spending priorities for Measure J.

Now on to the second point: Joshua Ferguson rightly pointed out during the scoping session that money is fungible and saying you won’t use Measure J to build a football stadium is meaningless if you just use Measure J money to pay for something else and use that money to build the stadium. More to the point, however: if Measure J money isn’t being used for the stadium, why is this statement found in the introduction of the Fullerton College Initial Study:

“The North Orange County Community College District (District) is updating its Facilities Master Plan for its Orange County campuses: Cypress College, Fullerton College, and its School of Continuing Education in Anaheim. The 2011 Facilities Master Plan provides an analysis of the evolving student body and makes planning recommendations based on educational needs. The District is undertaking a comprehensive improvement and building program to make the upgrades and repairs of existing buildings, to construct new facilities to improve the safety and educational experience of those attending the colleges, and to meet projected enrollment based on growth in population and jobs and the state Chancellor’s Office enrollment projections in accordance with the Measure J Facilities Bond Program. Measure J was passed in November 2014 and will issue $574 million in bonds to fund upgrades to technical job training facilities, aging classrooms, and veterans’ amenities. Key Measure J priorities include the following: (1) upgrading antiquated science labs, lecture halls, technology, and instructional equipment to better prepare students for growing fields of study and high-skill careers; (2) enhancing classroom space and training centers as well as technically trained workers; (3) expanding veterans facilities and services as well as job placement centers to train and retrain veterans as they transition into the civilian workforce; and (4) making health and safety repairs, energy-efficient enhancements, and other needed facility renovations on each of the District’s three campuses.

“At Fullerton College, the District plans to construct the following projects as part of the Facilities Master Plan (proposed project): …The addition of field lighting and 4,500 stadium seats to Sherbeck Field.” (emphasis added)

In other words, we are supposed to believe that Measure J Money has nothing to do with the Sherbeck field stadium, even though it is part of the improvements “in accordance with the Measure J Facilities Bond Program.”

I still maintain this stadium should not be built,  but if the Trustees are going to proceed despite the myriad of objections they should at least name it Veteran’s Field, rather than Sherbeck field. That way, the NOCCCD’s promise that Measure J was for veterans wouldn’t be a complete lie.

 

Brick Veneer, Fake Old, And Other Horrors Dead heads Education Uber Alles I Aint a Swallerin That NOCCCD Setting The Bar Low

25 thoughts on “Do Not Trust the Trustees

  1. Regarding Fullerton College’s ‘Field Use Policy’ Greg Schulz said this:

    “We don’t have a finalized field use policy, but certainly a significant amount of comments have been to express concern about potential use, um, what the study did point out was acknowledging the known use, right now, um, Rosary High School has used the field at times during the week, Hope International University has used it for soccer… but beyond that, you know our focus is serving the students that are in our programs…

    “It’s rented out now, but certainly we’re giving a lot of thought to how it’s been rented- and future rental is not off the table, but truthfully it hasn’t been determined- we don’t- we haven’t adopted a policy and I don’t think it would be right to do that during planning and like before tonight to say nope, it’s already been decided.”

    1. Schultz tends to forget what is going on in Fullerton College. Has not the soccer club Slammers used the field for many weeks?
      How about the other rent outs to CalSouth soccer ? Schultz’s vision is to lease the new
      stadium for large events.

  2. we haven’t adopted a policy and I don’t think it would be right to do that during planning and like before tonight to say nope, it’s already been decided.”

    Either this guy is an idiot or he’s already in full stonewall mode. Another $200,000 FJC genius.

  3. We need a stadium! Walking all the way over to Fullerton High to play would be really exhausting for us and for the 200 who come to see us play.

    I get tired just thinking about it.

    1. How about deed the field to FJC so college students are spared the indignity of playing on a high school field, and the high school kids can be so impressed that they play on a college field. Big wins for all. Think of the children.

          1. Got your back on this one Harpoon. You must have missed the part of the post about Bob Jensen speaking out recently at the Fullerton City Hall against Melia Homes wanting to build a residential development where office buildings now sit on Bastanchury near St. Jude, and then having the gall/hypocrisy to try and ram through this stadium in someone else’s neighborhood in Fullerton, simply because Bob Jenson is retired from Fullerton College, hence the term “NIMBY”.

            I include this link to North Orange County Community College District for residents to review pension costs. Can you believe that we’re paying Sharon Quirk’s ex husband Shawn over $10,000 a month in retirement?

            No wonder the Fullerton Observer is staffed by retired Teachers and administrators determined at all costs to collectively protect their bloated retirement schemes at the residents expense.

            http://transparentcalifornia.com/pensions/2015/calstrs/?e=NORTH%20ORANGE%20COUNTY%20COMMUNITY%20COLLEGE%20DISTRICT

            1. Greg Schultz $250,000 a year,pay and benefits. The guys around him from FJC cheerleading for a new stadium make about $200,000. They are the Trustees’ servants. TheIr underserving compensation works wonders for their Trustees’ masters.

    2. Maybe the trustees can sell candy bars outside of Ralphs to buy Segways for the entire team and the coaches so that no one gets real tired.

    1. “Crips Florby” sounds like the name of the love child of Chris Norby and Jan Flory after a heavy night of drinking at the Tropics Lounge.

  4. We all saw Greg Schulz’s and Dudek’s fuzziness at the November 17th meeting. Dudek’s executive hinted at $15,000,000 from Measure J bond funds. Shortly after, and realizing how unpopular the figure and the source of funds for this project were, Greg Schulz with a hocus-pocus maneuver, threw a $4,000,000 amount. And miraculously the money was going to come from already earmarked “internal” Fullerton College funds. Neighbors oppose and fight this stadium!!!!!

    1. Fight the building of the stadium, and insist that Measure J Funds be used for the purpose for which they were approved for by voters.

  5. Why not just raise funds to improve the stadium, ticket offices, and dressing room facilities at Fullerton High instead of building a new stadium for a community college where football isn’t the main focus anyway? This is a community college, not USC.
    All of the other things that Measure J proposed –science lab improvements, classroom upgrades, veterans resource center, and safety measures are fine and for the betterment of education. But building a new stadium is wasteful, when we have one across the street that easily could stand some improvements at a much lower cost.

    1. We should look at all the proposals without the stadium. The stadium must be kicked off the package. We are very firm about this: NO TO THE STADIUM!!!!!!

  6. As far as the Veterans Center: Once again veterans have been used as a prop to engender sympathy and support from the community in order to raise funds. Many voted for Measure J for this reason alone. Now, after gaining support from the community, we find ourselves stuck with a shell game in favor of a new stadium?

    If this is the truth, and the final decision then it will be nothing less than scandalous. Fullerton College and the board of trustees would then take membership in a league that includes bad non profit organizations, which have scammed the public for funds, raising millions, and spending only a small percentage on veterans. A list of the best and worst are here: https://www.charitynavigator.org/index.cfm?bay=content.view&cpid=531

    Veterans resource centers are invaluable touchstones for vets who are transitioning from military to student. They’re not only a place where they can enjoy the camaraderie of students who have gone through similar experiences, but can also work to coordinate their GI Bill and other benefits they’ve earned. From academic assistance and peer support, to professional guidance, the VRC’s at campuses across the nation are a vital link. If you’ve not looked at all that the VRC does at Fullerton College, then take a look: http://veterans.fullcoll.edu/

    1. Yep. Nobody at that district gives a rat’s ass about veterans. That dodge was the most cynical thing I’ve ever seen in a campaign.

      1. It’s sad, because veterans ask for so little, and they are so used to getting screwed by bureaucracies of all sizes.
        Making sure someone gets an education through the GI Bill, has peer support, and gets a firm footing as they make their way from service through to civilian life is critical. It’s disappointing they’ve made an assumption to leave the VRC out of the Measure J funds, and that it would go unchallenged. Are any of the trustees are veterans, have they ever been to war, or have any of their own children ever served? Our hunch is no, and perhaps they’ve never seen a veteran struggle through the morass of paperwork, and appointments heaped upon them by the VA. If they had, they wouldn’t have taken this off the table.
        Maybe it’s time to get back into the recall mode, or if you want, the FFFF mode, which made this blog such an effective force. Circulate a petition, sit outside of Ralphs, Target, Stater Brothers, Polly’s Pies and have them available at the bars. Toss up an online petition on Change.org.
        This shouldn’t go unchallenged. The veterans of Fullerton College deserve this much.

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