Voters on Tuesday affirmed their confidence in the Glendale Community College leadership, reelecting Tony Tartaglia and Vahe Peroomian to the board of trustees at a time when the college faces unprecedented budget cuts.
“I am excited that the voters are expressing their confidence in their incumbents,” Tartaglia said. “It is a vindication that we made the right choices. It is a feeling of confidence that this college is moving in the right direction.”
The incumbents cited an ongoing effort to gather community input on the direction of the college, as well as enhanced career tech programs, as some important recent accomplishments.
“It really feels good,” Peroomian said of his win. “I think we have a solid bond between the city and the college. The college is not just a college in the middle of town, it is a vital part of the city.”
The current board also set Glendale Community College on the right path when it hired current President/Supt. Dawn Lindsay, Peroomian said.
“With hiring Dr. Lindsay, we now have a President/Supt. who is always at every public function in Glendale representing the college,” Peroomian said.
During the race, the pair’s sole challenger, former city commissioner Vartan Gharpetian, criticized sitting board members for renewing the contract for former President/Supt. Audre Levy, who left the college in 2009 after three tumultuous years. The college had to pay $200,000 to buy out the remainder of her contract.
Gharpetian also questioned the college’s response to the recommendations set forth during the accreditation review last year, which put the college on warning status for failing to meet certain standards. Tartaglia and Peroomian stated repeatedly that Glendale Community College is responding effectively to the accreditation review.
Among their priorities moving forward is developing a facilities index to ensure all campus buildings are properly maintained, bolstering the college’s beautification fund, reducing the cost of textbooks and developing an entirely online program, the incumbents said.
“The college is now moving forward with having a fully online program which would give students an AA degree without ever having to set foot on the Glendale Community College campus,” Peroomian said.