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Widely respected trustee Marty Blum steps down after 8 years

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Widely respected trustee Marty Blum steps down after 8 years

Katie James, Associate Editor

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After eight years of service standing up for the people, former Santa Barbara Mayor Marty Blum is retiring from the City College Board of Trustees.

Blum has served as a member of the Santa Barbara City Council and as Mayor, holding both positions for two terms of four years each.

Now that she has served two terms on the Board of Trustees as the Area 7 – Santa Barbara representative and likes the place the college is in, she says it is time for her to step down.

“When it came to City College two terms is natural for me, if you can get reelected you serve that second term and then there are other people in this community who can serve very well,” Blum said.

She plans on enjoying time with her five grandchildren and attending the meeting of a local quilter’s guild she had been unable to participate in because its meeting time conflicts with the board meetings.

Blum said she voiced her opinion on what she thought was right and took actions she believed would help people in need during her time in government.

“Board members are elected to stand up for the people,” she said.

She added she was disheartened by moments during board meetings where she felt board members were disrespectful to students who spoke during public comment.

“It’s not just the people who pay taxes you should be respectful to,” she said.

After she had finished her second term as Mayor, it was her perception that City College was not going in a direction that was in students’ best interest that motivated Blum to run for the Board in 2010. She specifically saw the art, music and adult education programs as neglected, which she felt was not in line with what the students and community want or need.

Blum is highly respected among her fellow board members and the college administration.

Vice President of the board Jonathan Abboud voiced nothing but admiration for the former Mayor.

“Marty was always the board member who would stand up for what is right even if she is in the minority,” Abboud said. “She’s gonna go down as one of the best.”

Superintendent-President Anthony Beebe praised Blum’s character and initiative.

“Trustee Blum has a heart for all our students, but has a particular passion for under-represented and under-privileged students, always looking for ways to support their success,” Beebe said.

Board member Robert Miller spoke about his respect for Blum’s decision to run for the Board after retiring as Mayor of Santa Barbara.

“I think that is a pretty good indication of the high level of commitment. That’s an inspiration to me,” Miller said.

Blum said she is proud of the effort board members have put into student success, such as developing a mission statement and a vision statement, and contributing to an education master plan and a facilities master plan. The implementation of the Promise Program is also a proud moment for Blum.

Blum supports Kate Parker in the race to claim her board seat. Parker has served on the Santa Barbara School District Board for 12 years and Blum said Parker would be a valuable Board of Trustees member, making students feel well-represented and well-respected.

Blum said she hopes City College will continue to be widely regarded as a model for community colleges and keeps steady with its efforts to guide students on a path to success.

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Widely respected trustee Marty Blum steps down after 8 years