Wednesday, June 17, 2015

Three new members join college district's Citizens Bond Oversight Committee

Two construction professionals and a landscape and property maintenance manager have been appointed to the committee that oversees construction spending from two bond measures at the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District.

David Wilken, an expert in construction management; Scott Grogg, a survey technician for an East County water district; and Glenn Wilhite, a member of the Foundation for Grossmont & Cuyamaca Colleges board, were appointed to serve two-year terms by the district’s Governing Board at its June 16 meeting.

The 11-member Citizens Bond Oversight Committee is charged with ensuring that revenues from construction bond measures Proposition R and V are spent on campus construction 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.

Proposition R, a $207 million bond measure, was approved by the East County electorate in 2001 as a remedy to overcrowded campuses and widespread repair needs at a time of decreasing state support. East County voters passed the $398 million bond measure Proposition V in November 2012 to address longstanding facility, infrastructure and technology needs.

Money from Proposition R, along with state funds, financed the construction or renovation of 13 major facilities, transforming the Grossmont and Cuyamaca College campuses into high-tech centers of learning. The college district is now finalizing plans for the first Proposition V-funded projects to be constructed – a teaching and performance theater at Grossmont College, and a student services building at Cuyamaca College.

Among the provisions of the construction bond measures was the appointment of an independent citizens’ oversight committee. The committee includes community members with expertise in construction and finance, as well as representatives from business and taxpayer organizations, the colleges’ student body, a senior citizens’ organization, the district’s foundation, and the colleges’ advisory committees. 

The committee’s chair, La Mesa attorney Ron Oberndorfer, is stepping down after serving the allowed maximum of three two-year terms. He has served as chair since July 2012, after serving as vice-chair beginning in July 2011.

Committee members George Bonner and Ed Oreman are also ending their service to the organization after each fulfilled a two-year term. A representative from a senior citizens’ organization is being sought to fill the spot on the committee now held by Emile Zouhar, who will be leaving the committee after serving for six years.

New members Wilken and Grogg both have extensive experience in construction. Wilken, a La Mesa resident, heads Wilken & Associates and has more than 30 years’ experience in facilities project management, construction management, and real estate planning and consulting. He has worked on projects ranging from corporate offices to higher education class rooms, data centers, industrial and warehouse space.

Wilken said he is retiring from his business and thought his background would serve the committee well. “I would like to utilize my professional experience to give back public service to the community,” he wrote in his application.

Grogg is a senior survey technician at Helix Water District, and a member of the California Land Surveyors Association. He has worked as a land surveyor since 1994, and previously worked in metal fabrication for 17 years.

Wilhite, a retired division manager for The Brickman Group, a landscape management and property maintenance company, is representing the foundation on the oversight committee.

The other members of the oversight committee are:

·         Warren Ates, representing San Diego Building and Construction Trades Council

·         Bill Baber, representing a taxpayer’s organization

·         Sharon Bullard, qualified professional in finance

·         Zack Gianino, representing Grossmont College students

·         Gwen Miller, representing business community

·         Nathan O’Hare, Cuyamaca College student

·         Marlene Ruiz, representing college advisory committee

·         (Vacant)  senior citizens’ organization representative.

            “The members of our Citizens Bond Oversight Committee serve a vital role in helping the public feel confident that their tax dollars are being spent property,” said Bill Garrett, president of the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District Governing Board. “We are grateful that this group with a wide range of experiences and background are willing to volunteer their time to benefit the community.”

            For more information about the Citizens Bond Oversight Committee and Propositions R and V, go to