Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee

Claudia Aceves, Staff Writer

When there are millions of bond dollars on the line, there’s little room for mistakes or stray dollars. That’s where the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) steps in.

The CBOC was created as a result of Bond Measure A in 2002. It verifies that the spending of taxpayer money is legal and in compliance with the declared bond projects and informs the public about these expenditures.

“CBOC’s role is not one of veto power, but one of compliance and oversight,” said Pam Chanter, chair of CBOC. “Dr. Chong has assured the college community that students and faculty will have input, but the final decision sits with the Board of Trustees, who have the fiduciary responsibility for all matters of fiscal expenditure.”

Santa Rosa Junior College President Dr. Frank Chong said while some districts try and sneak in other projects after the list of projects is finalized, CBOC ensures this doesn’t happen at SRJC.

The committee requires at least seven members, each of whom plays a specific role in the community, such as a member active in a senior citizens’ organization, one in a taxpayers’ organization, one active in a business organization and a student representative.

The CBOC is comprised of nine members, all of whom are new to the committee this year: Chanter, Charles Judson, Nelson Weller, Frank Briceno, Kerry Mahoney Davison, Brett Martinez, Michael Coutre, Paul Kelley and Joshua Pinaula.

The length of each member’s term is a minimum of two years and no more than three consecutive years without compensation.

To avoid any conflict of interest from Dr. Chong’s selection of citizens, the Board of Trustees recommends potential members based on the citizen’s expertise in the purpose of the committee.

“Part of the criteria to serve was the ability to understand complex financial statements and to be an independent thinker,” Chanter said.

During the CBOC meeting in July, Dr. Chong gave the new members a thorough overview of Measure H, the $410 million dollar bond on the November ballot. Because it is still a proposal, there has been no oversight yet.

If there are questions or concerns regarding bond matters, community members are welcome to speak at oversight meetings where committee members can address the questions or issues.

“They take their job very seriously,” Dr. Chong said. “I think it’s a committee of qualified and very well-respected citizens.”