Applications are now being accepted to represent Lodi on the San Joaquin Delta College Board of Trustees and replace recently resigned trustee Maria Elena Serna.
Serna, who served for 18 years on the board, resigned last week prior to pleading no contest to a criminal charge of "double-dipping" on travel reimbursements.
Having only 60 days to fill the position, and not wanting to spend an estimated year-and-a-half and tens of thousands of dollars on a special election, the board decided to go with the appointment process at its meeting on Tuesday night.
Interested applicants have to be registered voters who live within the Trustee Area 4, which includes Lodi. Delta superintendent and president Raul Rodriguez thinks there will be no shortage of applicants.
"We are already getting calls," he said. "I expect we are going to get a lot of applications for this position."
Applications can be found at Delta's Web site at www.deltacollege.edu as well as picked up at the college. The deadline to turn them into the college is Jan. 5 at 5 p.m.
It will be up to the board to select the best applicant through an interview process set to begin after an orientation meeting for the applicants on Jan. 7. Rodriguez suggested that if the college gets 10 or fewer applicants, the board will interview them all. If it receives more than 10, then a rating system will narrow down the applicants to a number around 10 to interview.
Want to be a trustee?Applicants have to be a registered voter as well as a resident of Trustee Area 4, which includes Lodi.
Applications will be posted on the Web site at www.deltacollege.edu and at the college's Stockton campus.
The application deadline is Jan. 5 at 5 p.m.
There will be an orientation meeting for the applicants on Jan. 7 at 5 p.m.
If there are more than 10, the board will rate the applicants and select the top estimated 10.
Interviews will then be held Jan. 14 and 15 if needed.
In other action
- Trustee Steve Castellanos was voted as the new board
- Trustee Janet Rivera was voted as the new board vice
- Trustee Teresa Brown was voted as the new board clerk.
The board will then interview the applicants on Jan. 14, and Jan. 15 if needed.
Also on Tuesday, which was the first board meeting for newly elected members Steve Castellanos, Mary Ann Cox, C. Jennet Stebbins and Teresa Brown, the trustees were presented with a brief history of the Mountain House satellite campus project as well as its current status.
During the trustee election races this fall, some of the new trustee members said during their campaigns that they disagree with spending over $50 million of the remaining $68.8 million of the Measure L bond to build a permanent building at Mountain House. Some trustees say it doesn't leave enough money for other projects, such as a satellite campus in Lodi. Delta has currently set aside $2.8 million to buy land in Lodi, but not to build anything.
On Tuesday night, the board was asked to give direction to the bond team, which is in charge of following out the board's orders on how to allocate funds from the bond.
Saying they didn't have enough information to make a decision, the trustees scheduled a closed-session meeting for Jan. 6 where the board will be further briefed on the project, as well as meet with their lawyers to discuss any and all legal repercussions of changing plans or pulling out of the current project.
"I would hate to validate a decision because we are cornered," said Castellanos, the newly elected board president, of possible lawsuits that could occur from withdrawing from the project.
Castellanos also said they needed more time and needed to be informed about all the details of Mountain House so that the board can make a good choice to restore the public's trust in the trustees' decision making.
Cox hinted at making changes to the current plan, while Stebbins stated she wants to see the college go forth with its current plan so as to not waste money.
In total, $83.3 million has been allocated for Mountain House; $22.6 million of that has already been spent and another $13.5 currently is in remaining contracts. That leaves $47.1 million of the originally allocated funds.
Four projects are currently under way at the Mountain House campus. Asphalt pads for the modular buildings have already been poured and the modulars are scheduled to arrive later this month. Classes are set to start at Mountain House on June 9.