Just say no to Armando Ruiz in the Coast Community College District

I received the email below, regarding Trustee Armando Ruiz over at the Coast Community College District’s Board of Education, from an anonymous emailer – it is very interesting and pertinent, and as such I am reproducing it here.

Dear Members of the Coast District Community:

If you did not know, the Coast Community College District board has three seats up for election this Fall. I live in the Coast District community, but am writing anonymously to protect my privacy.

I am writing to you specifically about Area 3 of the District, the seat held by trustee Armando Ruiz. If you did not know, Mr. Ruiz, with the full complicity and knowledge of the Coast District adminstration, took advantage of a state loophole in 2004 to double the size of his pension, which so far has cost taxpayers over $250,000, and will cost over $1,000,000 throughout the remainder of Ruiz’s natural life. Many people in the community expressed outrage at Ruiz’s actions – there was a recall attempt in the community, and local political leaders rebuked Mr. Ruiz for his conduct. Since that time, Ruiz has continued to collect his six figure pension and his salary as a trustee. In addition, he drives around the District in a Mercedes Benz coupe, and uses District resources for his personal use.

This year, Mr. Ruiz is being challenged by Lorraine Prinsky, a professor at Cal State Fullerton. Ms. Prinsky is running on a platform of ethics and pledges to the stop pension abuse like Mr. Ruiz’s that takes place on community college governing boards. In addition, it is Ms. Prinsky, not Armando Ruiz, that secured the endorsement of the Orange County Democratic Party last month. Whatever your political affiliation, the Democratic Party should be commended for endorsing a candidate that is running on a platform of ethics and integrity in public service, and who will stop pension abuse by college trustees that work both as a trustee and a government employee at the same time. (www.lorraineprinsky.com). There is a third person in the race, Don Apodaca, but little is known about him.

But, more importantly, Ms. Prinsky will support openness and transparency in the management of the Coast District board. If you did not know already, Mr. Ruiz has served on a land development committee for the board. This committee is the one that brought the CVS Pharmacy, which will be selling alcoholic beverages on the campus, to Golden West College , and also, which secretly supported the proposal to build a Costco on the Golden West College campus. How could administrators like the Golden West College president tell people that the Costco deal was “approved” without the support of some higher authority? He has no power whatsover. The proposal may have came from the City of Huntington Beach, but Ruiz and others on the board were looking at Golden West College “surplus land” for development as far back as 2005. At a very recent meeting of the board, Mr. Ruiz rebuffed and delayed the request of some of his board colleagues to make the board’s land development activities more open. Why wouldn’t Mr. Ruiz support a more open and transparent land development process at the Coast District? Wouldn’t an open and public land development process best protect the interests of the community, the students, and the District? Hasn’t Ruiz learned anything after the community’s reaction to the Costco proposal?

And, as president of the board, Mr. Ruiz delayed sharing a letter from State accreditors, with his fellow trustees. This letter placed Orange Coast College on a Warning status. And, at this time, Mr. Ruiz is doing nothing in his current leadership capacity on the board to oversee or correct, the deficiencies that prevail at Orange Coast , the flagship campus of the Coast Community College District. This is yet another reason why new leadership is needed on the board.

Each of you are all intelligent, informed people. You have to make your own decisions about the elected officials that you want representing you on the Coast District board, but I hope you will take some of these comments into serious consideration this Fall on election day when you vote for your trustees.

About Admin

"Admin" is just editors Vern Nelson, Greg Diamond, or Ryan Cantor sharing something that they mostly didn't write themselves, but think you should see. Before December 2010, "Admin" may have been former blog owner Art Pedroza.