Recall, anyone? By "anyone," I mean specifically former Community College Trustee Rick Tuttle (now city controller) and Arthur Bronson (reelected Community College trustee). The Times headline (June 6) "College District Asking for $5-million Loan to Meet Payroll," certainly arouses one's curiosity, if not skepticism, that either candidate did not know that the need for an emergency loan "to pay its bills" existed.
Of course, the obvious question is: Did these two candidates know that this shortage was operative and, concurrently, did they conceal this fact? If so, should they bear responsibility, both legal and moral, for their conduct? Bronson's statement that he "was aware of a cash-flow problem, but nobody asked me about it" is a lame excuse and begs the question. Tuttle's remark that he "just heard about it this morning" seems inconceivable at best.
Furthermore, Vice Chancellor Thomas Fallo's observation, blaming the shortage on "the 3.5% raise last spring for teachers followed by the 6% raise in November" is apparently a scapegoat-finding rationalization. (Incidentally, it should be remembered that Fallo and three other vice chancellors were each granted a $4,000 salary raise themselves well in advance of the teachers' raise).
In addition, District Chancellor Leslie Koltai, understandably "unavailable for comment," stated recently that "instructors and district employees have shrunk 21% and need to shrink further." Does this so-called shrinkage include top administrative officials in the central headquarters--also those on the college campuses?
Finally, the fact that the Board of Supervisors has already granted an emergency loan to the district makes one even more bitterly cynical about the whole situation. Let us hope that State Chancellor Gerald Hayward's declaration that the district "will have to jump through a lot of hoops" to receive a state loan to cover paying back the Board of Supervisors portends a comprehensive examination of the Los Angeles Community College District and a radical reduction of the extravagant, inordinate and preposterous cost of the 7th Street imperial headquarters!