Friday, March 22, 2013

Citizens Bond Oversight Committee to monitor Proposition V spending

The Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, created by Proposition R’s passage in 2002, now has the responsibility of monitoring Proposition V, the construction bond measure approved by voters last November.
CBOC board members
Top, l to r: Warren R. Ates, Ron Oberndorfer (chair) Bill Baber
Bottom: Emilie Zouhar, Zack Gianino, Renae Arabo, Paul Botte
Not shown: Mohammed Alyasini, Glenice Stainbrook
The district’s Governing Board approved the expansion of the CBOC’s duties during its regular meeting last month. The 11-member volunteer oversight committee, which has been monitoring spending on the $207 million Prop. R bond measure, is now also charged with ensuring that the $398 million in Prop. V bond revenues are spent solely on construction at Grossmont and Cuyamaca colleges as promised to voters.
The committee’s role is to review and report on district spending of taxpayers’ money for construction and to provide a public accounting of the district’s compliance with legal requirements. Committee members appointed by the Governing Board include community members with expertise in construction, procurement and finance, as well as representatives of business, student and taxpayer organizations.
Prop. R was approved by the East County electorate in response to the overcrowding and widespread repair needs of the two colleges at a time of decreasing state support. Work on Prop. R projects is nearly wrapped up at the campuses, which saw 13 major building projects completed in the last decade.
Prop. V’s Nov. 6 passage paves the way for the two colleges to remedy longstanding facility and infrastructure needs. Plans include creating veterans support centers at both colleges, as well as an East County Workforce Solutions Training Center. Technical network upgrades are also planned, as well as energy-efficiency measures to conserve resources and reduce operational costs.
With 10 years of spotless, independent audits, the CBOC is a proven entity well qualified to oversee Proposition V expenditures,” Governing Board President Bill Garrett said. “The committee serves a critical role as taxpayer watchdogs, and the district is grateful for the service of community members whose only interest is the public good.”
The district’s 2013 facilities master plan that will guide Prop. V construction was also approved by the Governing Board. The comprehensive master plan is the result of two years’ work by architecture and planning consultants meeting with college and district committees and members of the community, and follows the guidelines of the district’s Educational Master Plan.
The plan calls for construction at renovations at Grossmont College, which was originally built in the 1960s, and at Cuyamaca College, which was built in the 1970s, before the convergent technology systems that are now essential for learning and district operations.
Chancellor Cindy L. Miles praised the efforts of the many people in the district and community who participated in the plan’s creation.
“I’m excited about the potential that this document represents and what it means for our colleges,” she said. “To ensure students continue to receive a top-notch education, it is critical that facility needs are met and this facilities master plan is one of the tools needed to accomplish this goal.”
With a plan now in place, the next step to move forward on Prop. V is selecting an outside firm to manage the program under district direction.
The facilities master plan is posted on the district’s website at www.gcccd.edu and can be found by clicking on “About Us” and then “Planning Documents.”