An endorsement of Jim Moreno for reelection to the CCCD Board of Trustees

President of the Coast District Board of Trustees, Jim Moreno (left), stands with LULAC Orange County representative Dr. Richard Baiz (center) and event keynote speaker, former boxing champion, Carlos Palomino (right).

We received a well-written post about Coast Community College District Trustee Jim Moreno, who is up for reelection this November.  The author asked to remain anonymous.  Here is his post:

A Public Servant’s Endorsement of Trustee Jim Moreno for Re-Election to the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees.

Trustee Jim Moreno exemplifies the highest standards for elected officials and public service, bringing over thirty-five years of experience to serve students, the community and taxpayers.

He has fought to bring transparency to the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees, voting to eliminate pension double dipping, making all Board Committee meetings and discussions open and public, and working with the community to stop the development of a Costco at Golden West College, a plan that was developed in secret by other Trustees without the Board’s full knowledge.

Mr. Moreno spearheaded the creation of a District Budget Advisory Committee to improve shared governance and transparency in the management of the District’s budget reductions, and received national recognition for his work in that area as President of the Board of Trustees in 2009. Further, Trustee Moreno has worked hard to reduce executive salaries at the District: Right before Trustee Moreno was elected to the Board in 2006, former Trustee Armando Ruiz and then Board President Walter Howald spearheaded huge raises for District executives, raising salaries for all to over $200,000 per year. Mr. Moreno has worked with his fellow Trustees to recruit a new management team of highly competent professionals and offering salaries that acknowledge the education and qualifications of each person, but also which keep in mind the concerns of taxpayers about excessive compensation for public servants.

Trustee Moreno has also authored Board motions in the last two years ensuring that indivdiual Trustees at Coast received no increase in annual compensation. And, as President of the Board in 2009, Trustee Moreno spearheaded the implementation of a new policy that reduced Board travel costs and prohibited Trustee use of District Foundation funds for travel reimbursement.

Mr. Moreno’s opponent, Shana Jenkins, talks about fewer opportunities and refers to a more favorable past at the Coast District. She’s wrong. The Coast Community College District now enrolls more students than it did when Ms. Jenkins graduated from Orange Coast College in 2005, during flush budget times, in spite of the fact that the state has cut the District’s budget by millions of dollars since then. Because Trustee Moreno and his Board care about providing the maximum level of opportunities for students, thousands of students have matriculated at the Coast Colleges, without any reimbursement being received from the State for those individuals, a phenomenon known as “Unfunded Full Time Equivalent Students (FTES).”

In addition, what does going back to the “past” really mean? It means corrupt, back room deals on the Board, it means a lack of transparency, it means bloated executive salaries, it means incompetent enrollment management (the District was put in enrollment stabilization by the State the year after Ms. Jenkins graduated), it means more pension double dipping, it means more nepotism and favoritism for Trustees and District staff, it means the promotion of more unqualified people to six figure jobs without professional recruitments, it means more Board “junkets” that waste taxpayer dollars on useless travel, and it means the Board and executive staff hiring former friends who are convicted felons to huge “professional” consulting assignments for the Board. This is what a return to the past means at Coast Community College District.

Ms. Jenkins’ own actions are a cause for concern, having already changed her ballot designation several times: is she a “public affairs consultant,”? a “public affairs instructor”? or a “community volunteer.”? Thanks should go to the Registrar of Voters Office for making Ms. Jenkins list an accurate ballot designation. This issue in itself demonstrates a lack of leadership and brings about a number of ethical concerns. Inaccurately listing her position as “instructor” on the ballot whilst trying to obtain an office for an educational institution alone represents an ethical dilemma for voters to ponder.

How can we go back to this kind of management and governance of the Coast Community College District?

Please consider Trustee Jim Moreno as your candidate for Coast Community College District Area 1. He will work hard to continue the public’s work, serving with the highest level of professionalism and integrity, and continuing to work for students to provide the most and best opportunities. Trustee Moreno believes that an education is something that is earned and which can never be taken from anyone – please continue to work with him to assist students in realizing their dreams and goals.

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