Saturday, March 17 , 2018, 9:34 am | Fair 53º


Letter to the Editor: Disregard Hearsay About SBCC Trustees

Before Nov. 2, I urge you to really get to know the facts behind the seeming blood bath between the incumbents and challengers for seats on the Santa Barbara City College Board of Trustees.

For the past several weeks, I have been researching and reading reports, letters and thereafter hearsay that is being written about the current board’s actions.

I believe in rocking boats. I believe in questioning. I believe in our democratic system. With that, you should ask yourselves before voting on Nov. 2, why would I, in this economy, kick out a group of people that have been conserving and making rational decisions based on the best interest of the school and have come out on top? Why would you rock that boat based on hearsay?

In the legal world, a court would not allow an out-of-court statement to be used to assert a truth. In addition, if a written statement is not declared by the person making it to assert a truth, it can be objected to. This is hearsay. Sure, there are exceptions to the hearsay rule, but none of the truths that are being asserted with respect to this board’s actions fit into these exceptions and thus would be objected to. Think of where the facts you are interpreting and basing your decisions on are coming from before voting on Nov. 2.

There is a standard in family law that when there is a child involved, the court looks at the best interest of the child. Shall we say Santa Barbara City College is the child, and before Nov. 2 you really think about mommy and daddy, i.e., the current board and the challenging board, and what is in the best interest of the child?

When you are legally noncompliant as a government funded facility you can be sanctioned, fined, lose funding, etc. The current board has had the tough job over this past year of having to dissect and reapportion items not in compliance according to California Code of Regulations, Title 5. Yet because certain programs fell through the cracks decades ago and ran a certain way with no micromanaging, and or no supervision at all, the programs/people themselves are now actually having to be accountable. Because of this, the board is being unjustly and unfairly accused of acting out of emotion, not involving the community with their “rash decisions,” or acting in haste due to biases.

Obviously, this board has learned a lot through bathing in blood in this battle brought on by sound bites, hearsay and lack of knowledge of the real issues, and through this I am sure they will, of course, incorporate community involvement where they are allowed to, again in accordance with the bylaws and ways they are mandated to run their meetings, etc.

I will urge you again to identify whether this boat needs rocking, whether what you have been listening to and witnessed said is hearsay, and really ask yourselves before marking that absentee ballot or visiting your designated polling place, what is in the best interest of Santa Barbara City College?

I, for one applaud, the current board for working effortlessly in attempting to clean up a noncompliant portion of the college so as not to lose funding or be sanctioned monetarily or otherwise, whilst working tirelessly to appease the unhappy and unaccountable creators of the hearsay and say good job for rocking their boats.

Elizabeth A.G. Cox, former SBCC student

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