Feather River College has, like most community colleges, a very open approach to the public addressing its concerns to the Board of Trustees. A community college by definition should function to serve the needs of the community in which it resides.
In accordance with Government Code Section 54954.3; 54957.5; Education Code 72121.5 the public may address the board one of two ways.
One. At each regularly scheduled meeting, the public can submit a written request that summarizes the item and provides the name of the requestor and any affiliations to the board president and president. Though no actions can be taken by the board on an item submitted by the public in this late manner, discussion can take place and awareness of an issue can take place.
Two. Members of the public can also place an item on the prepared agenda ahead of time at least five working days ahead of the meeting for both discussion and action.
But Feather River College president, Dr. Kevin Trutna, is seeking a rewriting of this very code to where all items submitted by the public must go strictly through him only and not to the board first at all. He alone would deem whether or not such items were worthy of discussion in a public forum. In a public document that our current board of Trustees has read, Trutna seeks to change the language to read that he alone will “judge whether the request is or is not a matter directly related to community college district business.”
This sounds like a blatant disregard for the needs of the community. So often lately we’ve seen people in power decide that a matter is not worthy of discussion—even when it directly effects students—particularly when it effects students not in the same elite demographic of the president—or a board.
Where is the democratic process here? Where are the checks and balances in governance in this nefarious request of the president of the college? Why would a public institution or the board that governs it, fall for a clear power grab like this one?
I strongly urge my opponent in the Board of Trustees election, Guy McNett, to stand up for his constituents and vote no against such a power grab that seeks to destroy public input at our community college.
McNett claims he’s working in the best interests of students and Indian Valley–and the entire county. Let’s see him stand up for all of us and vote against Trutna’s desires to consolidate power and silence our community.
The purpose of a governing board at a community college is not to rubber stamp what the superintendent or president decrees, but to make sure the best policy possible is moving forward for the good of all students, instructors, staff, and the community needs in a sustainable manner.
Please do your job, McNett, and vote no on the Trutna power grab.
“put community back in community college”