CCSF board gains four new trustees who want to work ‘cohesively’

Three newcomers and incumbent John Rizzo appear to have been elected to the City College of San Francisco board of trustees, beating out another incumbent, Anita Grier.

Rizzo appeared to have won the third and final open seat for a four-year term Tuesday, behind newcomers Thea Selby and Brigitte Davila, according to unofficial results. Policy researcher Amy Bacharach appears to have won the only open two-year seat on the board.

Despite the board's lack of power since July 2013, when the California Community Colleges Board of Governors placed a special trustee in charge of the embattled school as it fought to stay accredited, the collective sentiment from those who appear to have been elected is the promise to work together, boost student enrollment and introduce the school to new partnerships and programs.

CCSF remains open and accredited, though it experienced a 13 percent enrollment drop in its fall semester.

“I want to get CCSF on track,” said Selby, who as of Wednesday had received 18.4 percent of votes, more than any other candidate vying for a four-year term.

Selby declined to declare a victory, along with Rizzo and Davila, and Bacharach, who appears to have earned the two-year seat vacated by Chris Jackson with 45.8 percent of votes.

CCSF Chancellor Art Tyler sent the anticipated winners a letter of congratulations Wednesday.

“We look forward to working with them to continue our ongoing interest to serve our students and community,” CCSF spokesman Jeff Hamilton said of the elected trustees.

Bacharach said she looks forward to bringing a “pragmatic, unifying voice to the board” and helping to increase enrollment.

“What will help enrollment is really rebuilding public trust and confidence,” Bacharach said. “That's a key thing we've lost.”

Restoring power to the board is another priority for the newly elected trustees. Staffers are expected to present a report that explores the return to power for the CCSF's elected trustees at the board of governors meeting this month. The City Attorney's Office is currently representing CCSF against the Accrediting Commission for Community and Junior Colleges in a trial over the college's future.

“I think things are looking up for having an elected board of trustees, and for having a board of trustees that has the tools that it needs to govern,” said Selby.

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