The Inland Valley Daily Bulletin published (on page B1, on Oct. 17) a statement by Libertarian Chris Agrella in his Nov. 3 race for Chaffey Community College District Board. It also published on Oct. 22 Agrella's answers to the newspaper's questions. As the campaign enters the home stretch, Agrella is organizing Libertarians at the college, walking precincts in the district, and distributing his campaign sign. Previous coverage of Agrella is here. Agrella's statement and answers from the Bulletin:
I decided to run for this position as I felt there was a need for "fresh blood and new thinking" for the Chaffey Community College District.
I also felt that my 22 plus years experience in the California educational system will provide new insight and a better college environment for all students. I have both built and inspected classrooms, child care centers, and administration projects on college campuses as well as K-12 school districts throughout California. I have seen what works and what doesn't work for a student's education, and I will apply this knowledge to provide for a better student program.
I was an academic student at UC Riverside and a vocational student at Rio Hondo College, so I know what a student's needs are at their college of choice. My Rio Hondo college education was through the carpenter's union hall in Pomona as an apprentice in their four-year program where I achieved a certificate of journeyman status as a union carpenter.
I can assure the voters, that like my construction projects, I will strive to maximize the efficiency of this college district's budgets, end wasteful spending, and provide the students the campus priorities they need, including adequate parking at all times on all campuses. We have incumbents that seem to have misplaced these student priorities by building new structures for even more students, while there is not ample parking now at Chaffey College for the students already trying to attend. I will have the needed parking structures built before my first four-year term ends, you can count on that!
In order to accomplish these goals, I need you, the voters of this district, to "park" your vote for me, Christopher Agrella, this Nov. 3. By electing me as your "new, fresh" board member, the Chaffey Community College District will flourish even more!
Question: Mid-year cuts are what most educators are expecting, if faced with this scenario, what specifically would you eliminate or reduce on the Chaffey campus, and why?
Answer: I consider myself an efficiency expert, having dealt with contract budgets with regards to my 22 years constructing or inspecting school projects.
With a budget of over $200 million, I feel I can find some wasteful or "good 'ol boys club" spending that can be eliminated from this multi-million dollar budget. I would immediately put a spending freeze on any staff raises, because just having a good job in this economy is a blessing right now. We all can cut back for the students to have their college educational goals soar, instead of the paychecks of all campus personnel.
Q: There has been a lot of controversy about the parking situation on campus, how do you expect to address and provide solutions?
A: There is even a water basin across the street that could be utilized for temporary parking ... so no one is ever late again, or dropped by a class because they couldn't find a parking place in time to make it to their classroom before they were locked out of their educational dreams.
I did an entire junior high campus in Moreno Valley in less than one year, I will get the parking structures built in my first term, when elected, that's a promise to the voters and the students.
Q: In some states, community colleges are looking into providing four-year degree programs, in this economic climate should Chaffey consider this, and why?
A: I think for now, the Chaffey college system should stay where it is, and that's providing students with accredited and transferable college units, so they can go on to complete their educational goals after they have laid the foundation for that here at the Chaffey campuses.
Some students, will find that after one or two years, they may want to change their major, or pursue a different avenue of learning. I feel Chaffey College is providing the right first steps for our future citizens and leaders to begin at this level.