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SMC Board Appoints Bond Oversight Committee

By Lookout Staff

April 24 -- A pediatrician, a retired aerospace manager and an architect are among the 16 Santa Monica and Malibu residents appointed to oversee Santa Monica College's use of $160 million in voter-approved bonds.

The Citizens Bond Oversight Committee was appointed Monday by the SMC Board of Trustees as required by state law, which also stipulates a number of categories committee members must represent, including the local business community, senior citizens organizations, SMC students and college affiliates.

The committee will assure that the money -- which will bankroll capital improvement projects -- is spent only for the purposes set forth in the ballot measure and that no money is used for salaries or operating expenses.

"I am pleased that these outstanding individuals have agreed to serve on this committee," said SMC President Dr. Piedad F. Robertson. "This committee will play an important role as we begin work to fulfill our promises to the voters of our district and as we transform the face of Santa Monica College."

The committee, which is required by law to meet in public, also will present to the board a quarterly report on the committee's activities and an annual report that includes a statement indicating if the college is in compliance with state legal requirements and a summary of the committee's activities for the preceding year.

Serving on the committee are Santa Monicans for Renters Rights co-chair Nancy Greenstein (SMRR's other co-chair Denny Zane, is consultant to the college); Dr. Eleanore Meyer, a Santa Monica pediatrician and SMC alumna and Ed Moosbrugger, journalist and member of Friends of Sunset Park. (The Oulook's former business editor, Moosbrugger writes a monthly business column that appears in The Lookout.)

Other members include Linda Sullivan, a manager at Santa Monica Air Center and a member of the Pier Restoration Corporation; Jim Mount, Santa Monica architect and past president of the Santa Monica Chamber of Commerce; Graham Pope, certified public accountant, president of the SMC Foundation Board of Directors, and member of a tax-based organization and Irma Vargas, a real estate broker with Tierra Properties.

Also appointed were Pierce Watson, retired engineer and longtime member of the SMC General Advisory Board; Joe Weichman, SMC student; Luis Barrera, president-elect of the SMC Associated Students; Jeff Gordon, 2001-02 president of the SMC Associated Students and Paul Leoni, owner of Patton's Pharmacy in Santa Monica and a member of the SMC Associates Board of Directors.

Other members are Dr. Allen Weiss of Malibu, who has a medical practice in Santa Monica; Herb Reich of Malibu, a retired businessman and student at SMC's Emeritus College for older adults, Herb Rose, president of the SMC General Advisory Board and Bert Staggers, retired aerospace manager and Pico area resident.

Measure U was passed by an overwhelming 70 percent of Santa Monica-Malibu voters in the March 5 election. The bond measure will fund a wide range of projects, including replacement buildings, seismic retrofitting, energy efficiency measures, safety and technology upgrades and campus perimeter and parking improvements.

The College expects to complete the capital improvement projects over the next 10 to 12 years.


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