CCSF board candidates face unique challenges

S.F. Examiner File PhotoCCSF student trustee William Walker is among 10 candidates hoping for a seat on the CCSF board of trustees. See the full list of candidates and why they're running in the article's sidebar.

City College of San Francisco is facing major hurdles in the next few months as the college scrambles to readjust its operating and financial structure in order to keep its accreditation and weather fiscal uncertainty.

In the face of those issues, 10 candidates are hoping to grab a seat on the board of trustees and assist in the process and balance the budget, whether through cuts or revenue increases.

#link_box { width: 150px; height: auto; margin: 0; padding: 0; margin: 10px 20px 10px 0px; padding: 10px; background-color: #fbfade; /* ecru – light yellow */ border: 1px solid #343a25; /* green – for summer arts */ float: left; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; } #link_box img, #link_box a { border 0px; border-style: none; outline: none; } #link_box h1 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #8A0808; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12.5px; text-align: left; } #link_box h2 { margin: 0; padding: 5px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; text-transform: none; color: #3344aa; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-weight: bold; font-size: 12px; text-align: left; } #link_box ul { list-style: none; margin: 0; padding: 0; border: none; } #link_box li { margin: 0px padding: 0px; border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; } #link_box li a { display: block; padding: 5px 5px 5px 15px; /* Padding for bullet */ /* border-bottom: 1px solid #ddd; border-bottom-width: 1px; */ color: #000; width: 100%; width: auto; /* height: auto; */ /* border: 1px solid blue; */ margin: 0px; font-family: arial, sans serif; font-size: 11px; line-height: 14px; text-decoration: none; } #link_box li a: before { /* background-position: top left; */ } #link_box li a:hover { background-color: #ddd; color: #000; }

Four spots on the seven-member board are up for grabs. Natalie Berg, Steve Ngo, Chris Jackson and Rodrigo Santos, who was appointed to the board in August by Mayor Ed Lee following the death of Milton Marks, are looking to retain their seats. Their challengers are Amy Bacharach, Nate Cruz, Hanna Leung, Rafael Mandelman, George Vazhappally and William Walker.

Candidates say those elected need to be ready to make tough choices in order to move the college forward and keep it on track to retain accreditation. CCSF must prove to the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges that it can make drastic changes and meet 14 recommendations the commission made following a visit in March. The first report is due Oct. 15.

Berg, who’s served on the board for 15 years, said all levels of the school are working together and she hopes that continues.

“This institution is too big to fail,” she said. “All participants are committed to making City College a success.”
Walker, the current student trustee, said ensuring all groups participate, from administration to students, is key to retaining accreditation.

Mandelman stressed that some changes need to happen to ensure success.

“Over a five-year period, 14 top administrators have left and the chancellor was sick,” he said. “The institution was not well-positioned to respond to these tornados.”

Each candidate also blamed the state for some of CCSF’s fiscal problems, noting that higher education, including community colleges, have been dramatically defunded in the past four years. CCSF’s recently approved $186 million budget is 4 percent smaller than the previous year.

Ngo said increasing revenue to ensure programs are funded is important, but tough cuts need to be made.

“We need to be honest with ourselves and say, ‘Yes, we need revenue, but we also need to make those cuts,’” he said.

While Vazhappally suggested selling naming rights to buildings, others – including Santos and Bacharach – hoped that by partnering with the private sector CCSF could better focus courses for job development and training.

Jackson said when looking at cuts he wants to be sure small aspects are taken care of in addition to larger changes.

“Like capping vacation,” he said. “That’s easy. Or making sure our classified employees work 40 hours [a week] instead of 37.5 hours.”

akoskey@sfexaminer.com

If you find our journalism valuable and relevant, please consider joining our Examiner membership program.
Find out more at www.sfexaminer.com/join/

Just Posted

SF judge holds GOP House candidate Omar Navarro on stalking charges

Navarro is accused of his threatening ex-girlfriend: ‘I’m going to have antifa come after your family’

San Francisco community advocate to join District 5 supervisor’s race

Daniel Landry is the former president of the New Community Leadership Foundation

Vital link between two Muni train cars ‘failed’ while carrying passengers

A Muni train carrying passengers suffered a mechanical failure causing two rail cars to reportedly loosen and bump into each other

Dog owners sue over new pet restrictions at Golden Gate National Recreation Area

Three dog owners’ groups and a recreation association sued the Golden Gate National Recreation Area in federal court in San Francisco

SF man accused of attempted rape of 99-year-old acquitted of most serious charges

The attorney for a man accused of attempting to rape an elderly… Continue reading

Most Read