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Moment of Truth for Cuesta College

Big meeting coming up on Wednesday for Cuesta College. The Board of Trustees gathers to decide whether or not to pursue a new bond measure for the November ballot, or wait until ’08.

A friendly word of advice: WAIT! By all means, wait.

Have you seen the November ballot yet? According to the Oakland Tribune, voters already face $46 billion from five public works bond measures and four proposed tax hikes on everything from smokers to oil producers. there are many who fear that voters (like me) will simply go down the list and vote “No” on everything. That mentality dooms any chance Cuesta might have.

The vote against Measure G was pretty clear last month. Cuesta needs to rethink its strategy and not rush forward. Holding off for two more years seems the wiser course.

  1. Chuckman
    July 3, 2006 at 6:35 pm

    I agree, Dave. I voted against Measure G and I intend to vote against all bond measures in November. Government is wasting money, so why give them more? They need to CUT, not spend!

  2. Rich from Paso
    July 4, 2006 at 12:55 am

    The voters in California need a break from every special interest trying to tax them. To tie the last two posts together… I was approached by a guy outside the Paso Wal-Mart wanting me to sign the petition for the tax on energy companies to invest in renewable energy or whatever the hell they want. I told him that is another tax on the individual and he siad “oh, no, no, no. There are provisions built into the measure to prevent that from happening.” Either the petioneer was an idiot or just naive, but either way the proposition mechanism in California is jsut a way for the politians to enable the people to tax the crap out of themselves. It was probably a proposition that imposed the gasoline sales tax on top of the state excise tax at the pump.

  3. Al from West Nipomo
    July 4, 2006 at 3:31 am

    These comments will be presented to Cuesta’s Board at their ill-timed meeting on 7/5/06.
    I see no reason to take time today to discuss the multitude of reasons for the massive failure of bond Measure G on the June 6, 2006 ballot.

    Instead, I think we should collectively focus on making sure we work together towards creating a path to success for Cuesta, and do everything that needs to be done to achieve that and to, in solidarity, keep our eyes focused on the ultimate goal which is a better Cuesta, a Cuesta for now, and a Cuesta for the future.

    Clearly Cuesta’s current administration has failed in its day-to-day management of the school, its relationship with faculty and staff is tenuous at best, its vision of and for the college is seriously flawed and out-of-step with the taxpayers, its understanding of how the County’s school demographics are to be used to predict future needs is defective, its credibility is so seriously damaged as to defy repair, and finally its belief that we, the taxpayers don’t “get it” portrays such a rich level of arrogance that the only solution and a critical first step for Cuesta is to replace President Rosenwasser and Vice-President Maduli, and bring in an interim President.

    I understand that may be an unpalatable position, but I seriously doubt the success of any future bond issue without this critical change. Equally, their management style simply isn’t working.

    So, Step one is to get rid of President Rosenwasser and Vice-President Maduli. I hope that they have enough character and integrity to finally see that they are the creators of the fiasco at Cuesta and turn in their resignations at once, and relinquish the balance of any monies owed on their contracts.

    Moving on;

    Step two is simply to drop any plans or discussions for a South County center or campus for at least 5 years or until such time as there is a call from the residents of that area.

    Consideration should be given to the formation of a taxpayers’ advisory council, who while they might not have any real authority could provide essential input to avoid any future fiasco’s for the board.

    Somewhere along the way we need to investigate and compare the costs of traditional stucco or concrete buildings with the new modular structures that are found on campuses across the country. Properly finished and landscaped they are virtually indistinguishable from a stucco structure, cost far less, and with proper maintenance easily last for more than 20 years.

    Step three is to review the needed repairs for the main campus. I know there is a planned list for this, and I think that it needs to be reviewed, prioritized and perhaps modified or scaled back to focus on the more critical items first and leave any cosmetic items to last. Then, whatever it is that is decided must be compiled and presented in a line item Excel spreadsheet with sufficient footnotes to clearly explain exactly what will be done, what each individual item will cost, what the priorities are in that list and then present that list for public review and input by all interested parties.

    We want and need to have a safe and comfortable venue for the faculty in which to teach, and a safe and comfortable environment for the students in which to learn. We do not want any grandiose legacy restoration projects.

    The actual need for an expanded North County campus seems to be more a “wish” than a “need.” The validity of information presented relative to this project is seriously in question. Many view it as spurious. A key problem for Cuesta is the major loss of its credibility due to this item. Cuesta must scrap its plans for the North Campus and start over, but this time with input from the faculty, staff, and the public. When that has been redone, it too must be compiled and presented in a line item Excel spreadsheet with sufficient footnotes to clearly explain exactly what will be done, what each individual item will cost, what the priorities are in that list. This project list needs to include costs for modular structures
    As a final point, whatever it is that is done, must be done in the light of day, with sufficient input from faculty, staff, and the public.

    The decision process regarding what to include in any and all future projects must include faculty, staff, and the public. When it is complete it must be compiled and presented in a line item format in an Excel spreadsheet that has been prioritized, showing the cost of each item and has sufficient footnotes to clearly explain exactly what will be done, what it will cost what the priorities are in that list and a viable “Plan B.”

    Bottom line – put the community back in “community college.”

    Finally, in closing the pursuit of yet another bond this year would be a very foolish move on the part of Cuesta.

    Thank you

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