Newspaper Archive of
Feather River Bulletin
Quincy, California
October 17, 2018     Feather River Bulletin
PAGE 7     (7 of 38 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
PAGE 7     (7 of 38 available)        PREVIOUS     NEXT      Full Size Image
October 17, 2018

Newspaper Archive of Feather River Bulletin produced by SmallTownPapers, Inc.
Website © 2019. All content copyrighted. Copyright Information.     Terms Of Use.     Request Content Removal.

Feather River Bulletin Wednesday, Oct. 17, 2018 7A II many issues urn Roni Java Staff Writer Two candidates for the Nov. 6 election to represent Indian Valley, Area 4, on the Feather River College Board of Trustees faced off Oct. 9 at a community forum in Quincy sponsored by the Plumas County League of Women Voters. Though they run from a particular area, voting is at large in the county. Incumbent FRC Trustee Guy McNett of Indian Falls fielded a range of timely questions about college issues alongside his chaUenger for the post, Margaret Elysia Garcia of Greenville. Plumas County Supervisor Lori Simpson, president of the local league group, moderated the discussion forum. Following brief opening statements that outlined their qualifications, education and career experiences, the candidates alternated turns to address questions from the audience of approximately 25 voters. What do you consider to be the most important function of a college board trustee? Garcia, a 16-year resident of Plumas County, was an FRC English instructor from 2003 to 2015. She said she thinks it is "gravely important that the board is independent of the college president:" Describing this as an issue close to her heart and why she is running for office, she said, "When you teach in a community and are friends with students in the community, you get a good sense of what is good for the community and what needs work. Three things I think need work are more transparency on the board, more accountability and an independent voice on the board." McNett responded that the first priority is a fiduciary responsibility to the board, to the organization. "That's critical. If there isn't any money, it doesn't work,'" he said. The second was to provide oversight of the whole McNett said, "Oh boy. Housing, folks, is one thing we've been wrestling with for a long time and it's not just unique to Quincy, it's unique to our whole county." He has served on the college board for the past six years and told the audience that FRC built dormitories some time ago to house 160 students, then bought an apartment building on Bucks Lake Road that houses another 30. "Obviously, that's why we went and bought the long-term-care, assisted-living facility behind Safeway and remodeled that for 55 students," McNett added, clarifying that a huge hurdle for FRC is a lack of designated money in the community college system for housing. "We are one of only seven schools out of 114 who actually offer housing," he said Garcia responded that the student-housing problem goes beyond funding issues. "One of the very distressing things that I hear over and over again from students is (that they perceive) discrimination in housing," she said. "That's been a huge issue here in Quincy I feel like if there was some way for the organization becaus~ ~e~ i~ sQ college to get down from the hill mu~g on ~ ~ ~ ~: :: ~ ~ hategra~d:a litflemor~-- ~ academic mattei~,financial, " : the community at large, in trying interpersonal and legal issues, facilities management and more. "There's a huge amount that goes on," McNett explained. "And one of the most important things for a trustee to do is to try and understand as much about those different components of the system as possible so that when they go to make a decision, it's in the best interest of the whole. And that takes time, it takes commitment to be able to do that." to partner with people here in the city and other outlying areas, we would fare far better and our students would fare better." Garcia added that she knows students who have left the college over housing issues and concerns. Please review your experience on boards and administrative teams having to do with community colleges. Garcia said she has taught college-level English and writing classes since 1998, has extensive experience with California's Community College system, and What solutions do you have to solve the college's housing problem? has served on committees that covered hiring and diversity. She also served on the Sierra-Plumas Literacy Board, the California Acceleration project, a leadership team that worked on remedial education issues, and currently runs the micro-theater company, Pachuca Productions, that she cofounded in Plumas County. "I try to be fiscally conservative when I'm running these groups," she sai& "Normally, everything I do is on a shoestring, so I'm used to that. I think the one where I was most effective was on the associate adjunct leadership team (at FRC). We were critical in the contract renegotiation year and were at least able to put back some of the things that were taken away from us. I take great pride in having rewritten part of the contract that went through." McNett has lived in Plumas County for more than 40 years. In addition to serving on the FRC Board of Trustees where he is currently vice president, he has been involved in local healthcare districts for 10 years and was instrumental in the Plumas Unified School District's evaluation process that kept Greenville High~Schoo! open. : : "FRC is a very complex system," he said. "There's a lot going on out there. You have to be' able to communicate effectively and listen well to people to find out their viewpoints and Concerns. Maybe there's something going on with facilities and they're just hammered, or with housing, for example. It hurts when people say we're not doing enough for housing. Well guys, we're doing everything we can." He summarized the responsibilities of serving as a trustee by emphasizing the wide range of issues that come before the board and said, "There might be things in the f'mancial area (that you have to look at and oversee), and we're always dealing with legal situations that the college, as a whole, has to deal with. And that means you'd better do your homework." (For Ms. Garcia) Please point out decisions made by Mr. McNett that you believe were mistakes? This question offered an opportunity for a moment of levity in the information-packed forum. Garcia said, "Well, that's pretty loaded." McNett joked, "Yeah, where to start?" Garcia replied that her frustration "really comes from the lack of transparency and the lack of accountability as an independent voice for our area. That's what prompted me to run in the first place." She also expressed concern about the departure of high-quality former FRC instructors and about board decisions on resources. "Some of our amazing faculty are now gone and they,re gone as a direct result of board decisions," she said; offering some examples. "I really wish my kids could take math from Dr. Michael Bagley (who left FRC last summer for another institution)." Referring to the lean yearsof the Great Recession, when she was with the FRC English - department, Garcia said, "In 2006, all of the departments had to give up something as a result of the budget crisis. And it's very telling to me that some things the board decided were OK to bring back and some things were not. Today, there's a brand new, gorgeous sand volleyball field that only serves a tiny amount of students when other things they voted on could have served a large number of students." McNett disagreed strongly, saying, "The reason somebody leaves employment is not necessarily because of a decision that I've made. Perhaps they have an opportunity that's greater than the one they have at Feather River College." He also spoke about the board's sole responsibility for approving or denying tenure and added, "I don't think it's fair to blame on decisions of the board why Richard K. Stocklon, CLU ChFC, Agent Lic# #0B68653 65 W. M~n Street Quincy, CA 95971 Bus: 530-283-0565 T Area 4 candidates for the Feather River College Board of Trustees Guy McNett of Indian Falls, left, ~and Margaret Elysia Garcia of Greenville addressed the community at an Oct. 9 forum sponsored by the Plumas County League of Women Voters. Photo by Roni Java somebody seeks employment somewhere else. We offer an excellent compensation package." What percentage of FRC students are from Plums County and what is the college doing to increase that? Garcia took this question and said she believed the college is ~'doing nothing right now to increase enrollment of students available in Plumas County." She said local students have told her they are "making the trek See College, page 8A With competitive rates and personal service, it's no wonder more drivers trust State Farm . As your local agent, I'm here to help life go right. LET'S TALK TODAY.