About 20 students, faculty members and administrative personnel gathered for a hastily-called candidates’ forum to hear two of the four governing board candidates speak at a forum hosted by Southwestern College’s Associated Student Organization.
Juan Luis Espinoza, president of the ASO, moderated the event and selected questions from the crowd for the candidates.
Seat 3 challenger William “Bud” McLeroy and Seat 1 challenger Elizabeth Jean Roach fielded questions about their definition of learning to their positions on California Proposition 30, Governor Jerry Brown’s temporary income and sales tax increase to help community colleges. They also weighed in on Proposition 32, which would prohibit unions from using paycheck deductions for political purposes.
Roach and McLeroy both said they would vote “no” on 30 and “yes” on 32. Both said the college needed to stop relying on the state of California for funding. Neither explaining specifically how the college would replace its state higher education allotment, which is currently about $79 million.
McLeroy and Roach began by giving details of their backgrounds, education, and qualifications before the questions began. Though the questions were direct and lively, the reaction was cool and muted.
Candidates Humberto Peraza and William Stewart have both said they support Proposition 30 and oppose 32. Peraza has led efforts to end corruption and initiate campaign finance reform. Stewart, a San Diego City College professor, said acadaemics must be defended during budget cutting.