Santa Monica Lookout
|Santa Monica College Looks to Fill Vacancies on Oversight Committee|
By Lookout Staff
May 11, 2015 -- Santa Monica College is seeking volunteers for a citizens' watchdog committee that oversees the spending by the college of hundreds of millions of dollars in voter-approved taxes.
Members of the college's Citizens Bond Oversight Committee review annual audits and financial documents, including work orders; inspect college facilities, and perform other duties to ensure the money is being used in a cost-effective and efficient manner, college officials said.
Raised through assessments that property owners in the Santa Monica Community College District voted to impose on themselves over the years, the millions in funding comes from three separate bond measures.
District voters first approved the $160 million Measure U in 2002; passed Measure S in 2004, which generated $135 million, and most recently added $295 million more by approving Measure AA in 2008.
With the passage of Measure U, state law required the district to convene an independent committee of local residents and stakeholders to watch over how the Board of Trustees spends the money, officials said. Since then the committee's oversight responsibilities have been expanded to include Measure S and Measure AA funds.
The bond measures are funding a wide range of projects, including replacement buildings, seismic retrofitting, safety and technology upgrades, college officials said.
Eight volunteers currently serve on the committee. By law the panel must be made up of one representative of the local business community, a seniors citizens' representative, a member of a nonprofit organization and a student enrolled at SMC who is active in student government.
Meeting monthly, the committee follows the state's Brown Act, which requires it to meet in public and publish its agendas prior to convening.
Members receive monthly reports on the status of each of the three bond measures, college officials said. They are charged with reviewing expenditures and presenting an annual report to the Board of Trustees.
Specifically, the committee vacancy is for a representative of the local business communities of Santa Monica and Malibu, but applications from other community members are being encouraged, officials said. The Board of Trustees will review all applications and make appointments.
To qualify for appointment, applicants must be at least 18 years old and not be employed by the college or serve as a vendor, contractor or consultant to the college, according to the guidelines.
The deadline to apply is Friday, May 22. The application form is available online at www.smc.edu/cboc.
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