Letters to the editor: Trustee denies allegations


Editor’s note: On March 19, Citrus College Faculty Association president John Fincher presented the Board of Trustees with evidence he claimed proved Trustee Gary Woods did not live in Azusa, his city of residence. On May 7, the board voted 3-2 to form a committee to investigate these claims. Woods was one of the dissenting votes.

 

 

From:              Gary L. Woods

Sent:                Tuesday, May 07, 2013

Subject:          May 7, 2013 Citrus Board Meeting

WOODS

I thought you might be interested in my response as to why I voted in favor of the Board obtaining legal counsel regarding my residency at the April 2, 2013 Board meeting, and why I will vote against forming a committee to investigate my residency at the May 7, 2013 Board meeting.

 

In regard to the first issue, I do not agree with spending taxpayer’s dollars in obtaining legal counsel because there are agencies that are in place that handle these matters such as the District Attorney’s Office and the courts, and I do not believe that the board has jurisdiction to pursue this matter.  However, I voted in favor of the motion to obtain legal counsel to render an opinion regarding residency since I have nothing to hide in this matter.

 

In regard to the May 7, 2013 Board meeting, I will vote against the motion that authorizes the Board to form an ad-hoc committee to consider the issue of residency, gather facts and prepare a report which may include a recommendation for action because I do not agree giving the Board powers that they are not legally entitled to.  The members of the Board were elected and given the powers necessary to govern educational and financial matters regarding the Citrus College.  They were never given judicial or subpoena powers to be the judge, jury or executioner over another elected official.

 

Azusa is where I live, and I have thoroughly enjoyed being a part of this wonderful community for 32 years.  This is where I receive my mail, I have my telephone, pay my utilities, my driver’s license and car registration is here and I have voted in every election for the past 32 years in Azusa.  I have a partnership interest in several properties in Southern California, which has no relevance to where I reside, they are simply investments.

 

At the Citrus Board meeting on April 2, 2013, several people testified that they wanted the Board to hire legal counsel regarding this issue.  However, not one of those speaking lived in my trustee area except one, who resides in Azusa, and that person testified that he has known me for the past 32 years, he has telephoned me at my residence many times and discussed Azusa issues with me, and that I have been an excellent representative for Azusa.  He further stated that I have attended several yearly Azusa community events, served on the Oversight board for the City of Azusa, and that I have always attended all the Citrus Board meetings and the Oversight Board meetings.

 

I believe that the accusations are just politicking by the union president, John Fincher, who supports the board majority and the President/Superintendent Geraldine Perri.

 

John Fincher receives thousands of taxpayer dollars in release time to pursue an agenda.  A big issue has been the President/Superintendents compensation package.  What they are trying to do is to create a smokescreen for the Presidents lavish contract.  To me, it is just a political ploy and they are not real happy with my opposition to that compensation package.

 

Geraldine Perri’s four-year compensation package includes a $40,000 yearly moving allowance and 47 vacation days which she is now allowed to cash out at approximately $1,000 per day, or $47,000 per year.  In the four-year compensation package, Geraldine will receive a 4% automatic salary increase each year for four years, which amounts to approximately $251,000 in the fourth year of her contract plus the yearly moving allowance increase of $40,000 and the $47,000 vacation days for a total of $338,000 annual compensation.

 

 

If you add fringe benefits to the $338,000, Perri receives a $12,000 annual car allowance, over $12,000 in yearly life-time paid medical insurance, the District and State must put in 13% toward her pension which amounts to over $32,000 per year, and she receives $12,000 per year for general expenses.  These fringe benefits amount to approximately $76,000 per year, and if they are combined to the $338,000 it amounts to approximately $414,000 per year.

 

This is more that the President/Superintendent of the largest community college in California receives, and I might add that is more than the Vice President of the United States receives.  This is appalling, considering the economic times causing the loss of classes to the detriment of the students, and the faculty receiving a 2% raise for only one year while Perri receives an automatic annual increase of 4% for the next four years.

 

Dr. Gary Woods

Trustee, Citrus College

 

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'Letters to the editor: Trustee denies allegations' have 1 comment

  1. June 13, 2013 @ 11:49 am Rafe Edward Trickey, Jr.

    In 2009 and 2010, in my capacity as the CCCD’s Chief Institutional Advancement Officer, I worked closely with Trustee Woods, Trustee Edward Ortell, Trustee Joanne Montgomery, Trustee Susan Keith and Trustee Patricia Rasmussen. During my tenure as the CCCD’s Executive Director of Development and External Relations, I admired Trustee Woods for his decades of dedication to Citrus College and its many stakeholders. I believed then and I believe now that Trustee Woods is a public-service-focused, law-abiding elected official who is honest and trustworthy and a person of great integrity who always pursues his duties ethically and fairly, with great propriety and decency.

    After my leadership tenure with the CCCD ended in 2010, I went on to complete my doctorate in Educational Leadership and serve as a Vice President of Student Services at an ACCJC-accredited community college, as a Vice President of Planning and Institutional Development at an ACCJC-accredited community college and as President and Chief Executive Officer of an accredited community college. Because of my educational and professional training, my decades of leadership experience in higher education, and the challenge to my leadership that I faced during my tenure as the CCCD’s Chief Institutional Advancement Officer, I believe I understand the context for the campaign that is being waged against Trustee Woods and I am well qualified to shed additional light on the motivations for the current orchestrated effort to challenge the legitimacy of his elected office.

    Based on my professional experience and understanding of applicable laws, as well as advice from legal counsel, I took two particular positions during my CCCD leadership tenure that I believe displeased the current (and then) CCCD Board of Trustees majority and the CCCD’s Chief Executive Officer, which ultimately resulted in my departure from the CCCD. In response to positions he has taken, I believe Trustee Woods is being faced with departure-goal-focused opposition motivated by the same inability to accept opposing perspective I faced during my CCCD leadership tenure. Instead of governing through collegiality and by collaboration, I believe this is governance through domination and by fracture.

    To summarize two attenuated fact patterns, during my CCCD leadership tenure, on legal and ethical grounds, I opposed and strongly advised against a fund-raising and 50-50 profit-sharing initiative an elected CCCD Board of Trustees member wished to pursue through the Citrus College Foundation, an IRS-recognized 501(c)(3) body, and based on my understanding that it is a violation of IRS non-profit organization autonomy requirements, I strongly advised that the Citrus College Foundation’s Board of Directors no longer include a large number of paid CCCD employees, including an elected Board of Trustees member, as voting Board members.

    As someone who knows the CCCD and the context well, I believe Trustee Gary Woods is a public-service-focused elected official who is honest and who always upholds his responsibilities and pursues his duties to the CCCD ethically and legally. I believe the campaign to remove Trustee Woods from his elected office is motivated by people who disagree with the positions he has taken as a CCCD Board of Trustees member—and that is just wrong. If you disagree with Trustee Woods, do not vote with him or do not vote for him, but please do not challenge his integrity, his ethics, or his adherence to the law. The record and Trustee Woods’ record of exemplary service to the Citrus Community College District speak for themselves.

    Dr. Rafe Edward Trickey, Jr.

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