Parcel-tax study draws fire from some SRJC trustees

A proposal to pay for a consultant to poll voters and gauge support for a parcel tax to support the college met with sharp criticism from some members of the Santa Rosa Junior College board of trustees Monday.

The board had called a special meeting Monday to discuss paying for the feasibility study.

But the proposal was rebuked by at least two board members on the grounds that Sonoma County voters are already stretched thin in a faltering economy and that the process that led to the proposal was too fast and had not included the whole seven-member board.

"I think we have this thing way too far down the road. I'm feeling way out of the loop," trustee Onita Pelligrini said.

Trustee Bob Burdo said board members should be talking to their constituents about a tax measure or other plans before the college considers spending money on a consultant and polls.

"It seems to me we ought to be figuring a few things out," he said. "We are going to hire somebody to find these things out for us? We are not doing our job. That's my opinion."

First-year college president Frank Chong countered that the administration is pursuing a diverse range of potential new revenue sources, while at the same time examining deeper cuts to manage a dramatic drop in state funding in recent years.

Nearly 26,480 students took spring classes at the initial enrollment period — down from 29,880 at the same time in 2011 and from 31,070 in the spring of 2010.

The number of sections for credit classes is down nearly 8.7 percent since last year and the number of non-credit classes has dropped nearly 39 percent.

Calling the college an economic engine in the community, Chong said the cuts are too deep not to consider a parcel tax.

© The Press Democrat |  Terms of Service |  Privacy Policy |  Jobs With Us |  RSS |  Advertising |  Sonoma Media Investments |  Place an Ad
Switch to our Mobile View