SRJC calls upon citizens to oversee bonds

Pio Valenzuela, Staff Writer

The Santa Rosa Junior College Board of Trustees began accepting applications for the Citizen’s Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) early this month to oversee the spending of Measure H funds; but hurry, applicants should submit their bids no later than Feb. 26 to be considered.

The college increased its debt by $410 million after Measure H passed on Nov. 4 last year through general obligation bonds. These funds are meant to improve SRJC’s infrastructure, construct and renovate buildings and modernize the school for the 21st century.

The CBOC is a way to ensure the fair and legal use of the bond money, which is ultimately the public’s money.

Dr. Frank Chong, president of SRJC, will be one of those influencing applicants’ eligibility. “The Board Facilities Committee and I review the applications and send our recommendations to the Board of Trustees,” Chong said.

Measure H’s text states the Board of Trustees must create an oversight committee “no later than 60 days after the Board enters the election results in its minutes.”

The board approved the results of last year’s November election on Jan. 13 and will review recommended applications during its March 10 meeting, meeting the two-month deadline.

SRJC received funds back in 2002 when Sonoma County passed Measure A. Measure A also required an oversight committee; this new committee will provide combined oversight over Measures A and H funds.

Part of the first wave of applicants will be appointed for one-year terms, while the rest will be appointed for full two-year terms. After completion of one year, they will be able to reapply for a two-year position.

The citizen’s committee will consist of a single representative from certain demographics, including senior citizens, SRJC students, taxpayers’ association, business community and the SRJC Foundation. The student representative serves a one-year term.

The CBOC meets twice a year to discuss the school’s Measure H expenditures.

Current members of the Measure A CBOC seeking to be part of the combined committee must fill out a new application to be considered.

Applications may be downloaded online on santarosa.edu or by calling Erin Magee, Dr. Chong’s assistant at 707-527-4431. Completed applications should be mailed to the office of the president or sent to [email protected]