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SBCC Ushers In New Era with Swearing-In of Elected Trustees

Marty Blum, Peter Haslund, Lisa Macker and Marsha Croninger represent a political sea change on the college board

The wellspring of support that ushered in four new SBCC trustees was obvious Monday, as several hundred people gathered to watch the swearing-in of Marty Blum, Peter Haslund, Lisa Macker and Marsha Croninger.

The ceremony came after a dramatic upset of several of the board’s incumbents in the Nov. 3 election.

Board members such as Kay Alexander, who had served on the board for more than four decades, were unseated, signaling a political sea change in the organization. Drawing on upheaval from the Adult Ed program and changes within the school’s parent child workshops, the four challengers garnered an impressive amount of votes.

SBCC President Andreea Serban welcomed them to the board Monday. Their orientation will be later this week, and the four already have received binders to brief them about their new jobs, Serban told the crowd gathered Monday on the lawn outside the school’s administration building.

“It’s definitely for the best purpose, which is higher education for all who can benefit from it,” Serban said.

Judge Thomas Anderle handled swearing-in duties for each of the new trustees, beginning with Blum. As a former mayor of Santa Barbara, Blum has a long history with local politics, and told Noozhawk last month that she’s ready to politics aside and get down to working on the issues that face the school.

Following Blum were Haslund, a political science professor at SBCC, and Macker, an accountant and business owner. Last was Croninger, who brought home a surprise win three weeks after the election. Though she was in last place on Nov. 3, Croninger beat out incumbent Desmond O’Neill for the seat after all votes were tallied.

After the swearing-in, Croninger told Noozhawk she wants to foster greater community involvement as soon as she takes her seat on the board, adding that transparency is key.

“Look at this gathering here,” she said, gesturing to the crowd milling around. “So many are gathered that care so much about this college.”

She said a range of things will be needed to make people feel welcome, from initiating more outreach to making parking easier for the public to attend the meetings.

The four members will take their seats at the first board meeting next week, on Thursday, Dec. 16.

Noozhawk staff writer Lara Cooper can be reached at .(JavaScript must be enabled to view this email address). Follow Noozhawk on Twitter: @noozhawk or @NoozhawkNews.

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