August 27, 2015
Measure AA Citizens Oversight Panel: Working on MSJC’s Future
The panel of citizens appointed to oversee the expenditure of funds for the expansion of Mt. San Jacinto College has been hard at work navigating governmental regulations related to future construction. The group’s second meeting will be held in September to discuss Measure AA.
Committee Chairman Bob Botts said the group held its organizational meeting in June and the team is energized to help take MSJC into the future.
“These are really exciting times for the college and especially for the current and future students,” Botts said. “These funds will greatly expand the capacity and teaching capabilities at all of the district’s campuses and it will make higher education more accessible to all of our communities.”
The nine-member MSJC Independent Citizens’ Oversight Committee was approved by the MSJC Board of Trustees in May. A citizens’ committee is required by Prop. 39 because of the passage of Measure AA. The $295 million facilities bond was approved by voters in November 2014. MSJC appointed two citizens more than what is required to ensure diverse representation. They were selected from a pool of more than 20 candidates.
The general duties of the committee are to keep the public informed of bond expenditures, review the expenditures and to produce and annual report.
The members are:
- Chairman Robert “Bob” Botts – Member At Large – Banning
- Dennis Anderson – MSJC Support Organization (MSJC Foundation Board) – Hemet
- Vice Chairman Amy Campbell – Member At Large – Temecula
- Dee Cozart – Business Representative – San Jacinto
- Darryl Drott – Taxpayers Association – Menifee
- Brenda Maya Esparza – Student Representative – San Jacinto
- Judy Guglielmana – Taxpayer Association – Lake Elsinore
- Altie Holcomb – Member At Large – Menifee
- Salvador Valdivia – Senior Citizen’s Representative – Beaumont
Before the first shovel hits the ground, the district is conducting environmental impact reports at current sites and potential future sites to ensure the district meets regulations under the California Environmental Quality Act and the Division of the State Architect requirements. The studies should take about a year to complete.
While the first steps involve much of what is regarded as red-tape, Botts said these early stages are critical to ensure the college district meets all of the legal requirements so it is prepared for big construction projects in the next three to five years.
“The college plans to leverage other state construction monies to increase the total amount of funding for college expansion to more than $500 million,” Botts said. “We need to make sure we meet every detail right now, dot all ‘I’s and cross all ‘T’s, so that we can position the district to capitalize on additional dollars and build full-steam ahead when we are ready. Our goal is to ensure the bond funds are spent where they should be, according to the Bond Measure, so that the district can serve the students of the future.”
The Independent Citizens Bond Oversight Committee meets quarterly. The next regular meeting is scheduled for 4 p.m. to 6 p.m. on Sept. 23 in Room 200 at the San Jacinto Campus, 1499 N. State St. in San Jacinto.
Learn more about the committee and Measure AA at www.msjc.edu/MeasureAA