After a perfect record for nine years, clean financial audits for the $207 million bond that financed construction and renovations at the two colleges in the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District are becoming almost routine.
The record continued Jan. 17, when Vice Chancellor Sue Rearic reported at a Governing Board meeting that the district had gotten a clean bill of financial health for the Proposition R building fund. Both the financial audit and a performance audit found that the money was being handled properly and followed required accounting procedures.
“These audits are confirmation of the district’s strong internal controls, which is especially gratifying in light of what has been reported in the media regarding other districts,” Rearic said.
Proposition R was approved by East County voters in 2002 to construct and renovate aging and outdated buildings at Grossmont College in El Cajon and Cuyamaca College in Rancho San Diego. Since then, 13 major projects have been completed, along with numerous infrastructure improvements for the two East County campuses.
The final two buildings to be renovated under Proposition R, the Griffin Center and the Student Services/Administration building at Grossmont College, both recently opened to serve students. Other buildings constructed under Prop. R include a Student Center and Business and Technology building at Cuyamaca College, and a Health and Sciences Complex and a 1,400-space parking structure at Grossmont College.
“East County voters put their faith in us when they voted for the bond measure in 2002, and the audits demonstrate that their confidence in us was justified,” said Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District board.
Before the audit was presented to the Governing Board, it was reviewed by the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee, an independent 11-member volunteer group charged with ensuring that Prop. R revenues are spent as promised. The oversight committee’s role is to review and report on district spending of Prop. R monies and to provide a public accounting of the district’s compliance with legal requirements.
The audit report for the Prop R funds comes on top of the eighth consecutive year of clean audits for the college district’s finances. In December, independent auditors gave clean audits for the district’s general funds; its alternative pension plan; Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges’ foundations; and the district’s auxiliary.
“We take our role as financial stewards of taxpayer dollars very seriously,” district Chancellor Cindy L. Miles said. “Our resources are limited, and we want to make the best use of them that we can to provide a quality education for our students.”