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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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The news site of Santa Barbara City College.

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Trustee openly criticizes the board’s members at tension-filled meeting


Trustee Veronica Gallardo revealed her depreciation of the Board of Trustees on Thursday, Feb. 22 through a series of personal strikes towards members and criticism of the governing board.

The agenda item in discussion on Thursday night concerned Gallardo’s meeting attendance from 2021 to 2023. The board had previously voted to censure Gallardo in July of 2023, prohibiting her from committee membership, board officer roles and conference travel for a year, according to the resolution of censure by the board. 

Gallardo had missed a total of 19 board and committee meetings, regular and special, throughout the two years prior to the censure.

“I don’t have an issue with the censure, I’ve already told [the board] I take it with a badge of honor,” Gallardo said.

Before the closed session at the beginning of the board’s meeting, Gallardo expressed that she would be recusing herself from the evaluation of the superintendent-president.

A closed session is an allotted period of time for the board to discuss matters that are disclosed and confidential to the public. The evaluation of the superintendent-president was an item within the board’s closed session on Thursday. 

“I will be recusing myself from item 3.2 because [Jonathan Abboud] and the board cannot be trusted, and neither can Erika [Endrijonas],” Gallardo said. 

Jonathan Abboud sits on the board as president, as well as Erika Endrijonas who is the City College superintendent-president.  

During the board’s discussion of Gallardo’s attendance, Gallardo expressed frustration over the exposure of her City College “K number” within a stipend history document shared on the board’s agenda for Thursday. 

A student or faculty member’s “K number” is a form of identification at City College.

“I think that the press has enough to see how unreasonable – and the wicked intent behind this board,” Gallardo said. 

Trustee President Abboud clarified for the board that Gallardo’s “K number” was taken down within an hour after the document was posted.

The legal opinion that City College received on releasing an individual’s “K number” was that nothing could be done with it, according to an email from Jordan Killebrew, executive director of public affairs and communications. 

According to the resolution of censure provided by the board, Gallardo has violated Board Policy 2715 on multiple counts, a standard of conduct that illustrates the expectations and responsibilities of a board member by working collegially with other members and the superintendent-president.  

“[It’s] time seriously to consider to resign, so someone who can come to the meetings will take your place,” said Trustee Marsha Croninger on the subject of Gallardo’s obligation to attend all board meetings. 

Following a series of interruptions by Gallardo, as well as various addresses to “stick to the agenda,” the board moved on to discussing Gallardo request of compensation for her absence during a meeting on June 8 of 2023. 

Gallardo referred to Abboud as “sneaky” during his presentation of the board’s policy on paid-leave in reference to Gallardo’s request for compensation. 

According to Abboud, Gallardo claimed she was representing City College at the Santa Barbara High School graduation, during which Gallardo’s son was a part of the graduating class.

“[Gallardo] has every right to want to attend that graduation, but that does not mean you get paid to attend your son’s graduation,” Trustee Croninger said. 

Student Trustee Sophia Kofoed shared her thoughts on the tension that rose throughout the item discussion, as well as the unmannerly execution of conversation by Gallardo. 

“I just want to add how important I think respect is in meetings like this,” Kofoed said.

The board will reconvene on Thursday, March 7 for further discussion.

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