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Trustees confront request for updates on decorum policy

Two out of the six agenda items pulled gain full board approval, four items discussed for longer
Claire Geriak
The Board of Trustees congregate in the McDougall Administration Building monthly in Santa Barbara, Calif. Illustration created on Canva on Nov. 12.

New revisions and updates were discussed within the Board of Trustees’ policy regarding decorum–behavior upholding proper etiquette–at their meeting on Thursday, April 25.

According to Trustee Charlotte A. Gullap-Moore, the request for updates within the original board policy (BP) 2355 on decorum were recommended by a member of the public in September of last year.

Along with BP 2355, board policies are a requirement by California law in order for there to be transparency about the operations and responsibilities of the governing board of elected officials. 

During the time of the request, the anonymous member of the public viewed the board meetings as disruptive, according to Gullap-Moore.

Additionally, as stated by Gullap-Moore, the member of the public addressed that these revisions to BP 2355 would aim to increase consistency and flow of conversation during meetings.

The board policy subcommittee has since reviewed BP 2355, and current updates were presented at the Thursday night meeting for its first reading. 

All members of the board were present for the policy reading–Trustees’ Anna Everett and Marsha S. Croninger attended over Zoom–with the exception of Trustee Veronica Gallardo, who left before the discussion at the start of the governing board section of the meeting. 

Gullap-Moore further explained that the subcommittee worked to avoid creating a policy that could be used to silence any individual’s voice, and instead continue to be inclusive of all board members’ perspectives. 

The final approval of these changes to decorum is likely to be made at the next board meeting, according to Trustee President Jonathan Abboud. 

In addition to the review of the board’s policy on decorum, six items were pulled for conversation from the consent agenda at Thursday’s meeting. 

The consent agenda consists of topics within human resources, academic affairs, student affairs, school of extended learning and business services. All items that fall within these categories of the agenda are voted on and passed unless a member of the board requests for further discussion on any item. 

Out of the six items pulled, two gained full approval from the board after brief clarification, and four were explored for a longer duration of time, with a roll call vote to conclude each. 

The approval of an adjustment to the City College budget in order to increase the admissions and records budget by $355,879 for the 2024-2025 fiscal year was pulled for discussion.

Admissions and records and dual enrollment at City College has been in the process of reorganizing for the past two years, according to the board agenda item details. 

The allocation of money transferred from the college’s budget to the program would compensate for the implementation of two new positions within the dual enrollment program; dual enrollment supervisor and specialist. 

Although in agreement with the plan for reorganization and additional positions within dual enrollment, Gallardo believes City College does not realistically have the funds for the approval.

“My recommendation is either bring this back with a plan [on] how we’re going to pay for it, [or] I can’t approve something we don’t have money for,” Gallardo said. 

According to Abboud and Superintendent-President Erika Endrijonas, the new positions will be categorically funded–funding from the state targeted towards certain purposes–by AB19 of the California College Promise.   

AB19 would allow the City College district to cover fees for student success within dual enrollment; in this case adding more positions to aid in the program’s goals.

The board voted “yes” on the approval of the transfer of budget money to dual enrollment, with the exception of one “no” from Gallardo. 

The additional three items pulled consisted of a request of $15,000 for City College employee recruitment training through CultureAlly, resulting in board approval with the exception of one “no” from Gallardo.

The other item covered the approval of warrant registers from December 2023 up until March. A warrant register summarizes payments taken from funding sources by vendors. The board voted “yes” to the approval, with the exception of one “no” from Gallardo.  

The last item involved the approval of a renewal of the facilities-use agreement between school of extended learning (SEL) and Freedom 4 Youth for utilizing space in the SEL on City College’s Schott Campus; the board all voted “yes.”

The board will meet again on Thursday, May 23.

Correction: April 30, 2024
A previous version of this story misstated the word “etiquette” with “adequate.”

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