EDITORIALS:

The flare up between Glendale Community College faculty members and the Board of Trustees this week over how to replace outgoing President/Supt. Audre Levy is exactly the kind of divide we fear will play out as the process gets underway.

College trustees and faculty members already have enough to digest as far as the state budget crisis is concerned.

Now is not the time to settle old scores or point fingers regarding Levy’s far-too-quick appointment several years ago.

Everyone should rally behind the Board of Trustees decision to appoint the popular Dawn Lindsay, vice president of instructional services, as the interim superintendent so that all the stakeholders can have a chance to weigh in on finding the right fit for the job.

This is what the faculty union wanted, and got, Wednesday night, despite cries of being left out of even the initial discussion on who to appoint as the interim chief.

It wasn’t the best way to kick off the process, but now that it’s in place, we would caution either side on getting bogged down in bureaucratic mud as they engage in the search.

We understand why stakeholders, having appeared to jump the gun with Levy, might be slow to reach a final decision, but at the same time, the state budget crisis looms.

The impact to the college could be brutal, and without a permanent leader in place, the possibility of fractured opinions on how to respond is a real danger.

Levy was a good administrator, just not the right fit. Therein lies the challenge for the college.

It’s unrealistic to expect that any one candidate will be able to be everything to everyone.

Let’s not get bogged down in the minutiae of who seems to flatter whom most, and instead focus on picking someone who has the right stuff to pull the college through what is shaping up to be the financial storm of all storms.

Brace for big budget impact

Local budget gaps of roughly $10 million here, $25 million there were rough enough pills to swallow before Tuesday’s special election, but now, those pills are about to expand as the state Legislature sets down a path of how to close a projected $21.3-billion deficit for next fiscal year.

Few people went to the polls, but those who did routed the slate of budget propositions that were expected to generate about $6 billion through the middle of next year, despite warnings of dire consequences for public services.

Now, the public will have to swallow the pill that local agencies handout as a result.

Most likely, the state will borrow against local property taxes.

There goes roughly $7.5 million between Burbank and Glendale alone. School districts will fare worse, with tens of million more in additional cuts likely coming down the pipe.

In terms of rubber and road, local government is where they meet. None of us will see the impact of an 18% cut to salaries for state officials next fiscal year, but we will notice the effects of much larger class sizes, vanished community programs and longer lines at public health agencies.

We’ve yet to really see the hammer fall, and maybe that’s a good thing. Maybe it’s time for residents to see how hard cuts really look and feel. Lay offs, unpaid furloughs, program reductions, hamstrung agencies, these are just some of the consequences of a disenfranchised voter pool and a debilitating state ballot system.

Either way, may we suggest residents prepare a really tall glass of water.


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