YOSEMITE COMMUNITY COLLEGE DISTRICT BOARD OF TRUSTEES
FOUR HUNDRED FORTY-THIRD REGULAR MEETING
OCTOBER 15, 2001
The meeting was called to order at 3:30 p.m. in YCCD Conference Room B by the President of the Board of Trustees, Mr. Tom Hallinan. Trustees then recessed to closed session for the purpose of discussion pursuant to G. C. Section 54957.6: Negotiations with CSEA; G. C. Section 54957: Appointment of MJC President; and G. C. Section 54956.9: Anticipated Litigation.
At 5:00 p.m. the Board of Trustees reconvened to public session in the YCCD Board Room.
Board Members Present
Doralyn Foletti (Student Trustee)
D. Baggett, M. Baker, T. Ballard, V. Bizzini, T. Bostrom, A. Boyer, A. Burtis, L. Butterfield, G. Boodrookas, J. Codoni, S. Conner, J. Carroll, S. Carroll, J. Caufield, E. Christopherson, D. Clark, K. Clark, S. Collins, S. Donahue, S. Donahue, J. Ennenga, P. Fisher, T. Flemming, J. Flores, B. Gauvreau, D. Geer, N. Gould, J. D. Grothe, J. Guffey, T. Hamilton, M. Hepner, H. Hepner, J. Hill, S. Hodges, J. Horton, R. Hotwood, D. Hubanks, K. Jeffery, D. Jenness, G. Kailes, M. Kidd, H. Kiley, J. Larrick, D. Lewis, T. Lyle, C. Madden, J. Madden, J. Madden, T. Madden, T. Madden, B. J. Marks, E. D. Masters, J. Maxwell, J. Mendes, M. McKinsey, R. McKinsey, W. McLeod, H. Miles, A. Noriega, W. O'Bryant, B. Olhiser, F. Osnaya, P. Payne, M. Perez-Sesser, S. Redenbaugh, R. Redenbaugh, J. Rose, J. Riggs, G. Ruckman, J. Saldana, R. Sale, D. Saul, B. Scharffer, M. Sharp, J. Sharp, T. Scott, D. Smith, N. Stavrianoudakis, J. Swank, R. Thompson, B. Tom, J. Walker, B. Weese, D. Wirth, E. Osnaya (recorder)
The Pledge of Allegiance to the Flag preceded formal Board action.
Approval of the Minutes
A motion was made by Mr. Allen, seconded by Mr. Rojas, that the Board of Trustees approve the minutes of the first adjourned meeting of August 29, 2001 and the regular meeting of September 7, 2001.
The motion carried by a vote of 7-0.
Student Activity Reports
Kathryn Jeffery, Vice President for Student Services at Columbia College,
reported on behalf of the Columbia students. She said that Transfer Day had
been well attended by over 400 local high school students. Associated Students
representatives also participated in the CCSAA meeting in Sacramento. Dr.
Jeffery said future activities include a harvest festival and student
participation in various college committees.
Bryan Justin Marks, ASMJC President, reported that the students' leukemia drive had raised $1,600. Students also had been busy with a political forum for City Council candidates, Ethnic Heritage Day, an anti-hate rally, National Coming Out Week activities, and promoting the student activity fee. Mr. Marks said students are undertaking a new project which involves placing suggestion boxes throughout campus in order to reach out to students and get their comments and concerns on different issues. Mr. Marks said that he had attended the CCSAA meeting in Sacramento and had been appointed to the State Chancellor's Office Committee on Diversity. He is the only student on that committee and credits his selection, in part, to the YCCD's Beyond Tolerance Initiative. Mr. Marks invited everyone to attend the MJC production of "Picasso" in which he was performing.
Mr. Marks stated that he had previously reported to the Board of Trustees on a vote from the ASMJC Executive Council in favor of closing the MJC firing range. He stated that since then, a special meeting of the Inter-Club Council was held to specifically discuss the firing range issue and Mr. Don Clark, retired MJC professor, attended. Another vote was taken and the Inter-Club Council recommended with a vote of 26-1 to close the range on West Campus.
Academic Senate Activity Reports
Ted Hamilton, Columbia College Academic Senate President, updated the Board of Trustees on activities related to curriculum development, their evaluation process, and the Excellence Initiative as it relates to the professionalism of faculty. He also informed trustees of their planned presentation on the Middle East.
David Baggett, MJC Academic Senate President, reported on the successful Senate Retreat held last month. Dr. Baggett said faculty discussed effective communication, ethics policy, resolution development, and the development of a Senate philosophy statement. As a result, they have come up with an action plan to deal with the challenges of communicating effectively. They also discussed part-time faculty issues. They have put together a subcommittee to prioritize the list of concerns submitted by part-time faculty over the last six months. An action plan will then be developed.
Trustees thanked Mr. Hamilton and Dr. Baggett for their reports.
The Chancellor briefly went over the various events taking place at our colleges.
Response to National Tragedy
As part of joint memorial ceremonies, Peace, Unity & Remembrance and Affirmation of our Beyond Tolerance Initiative, services were conducted simultaneously at MJC's Quad and Columbia College's Carkeet Park on September 18 at 1:00 p.m. followed by a candlelight vigil at 8:00 p.m. at MJC. All events were well attended. On September 20, MJC faculty also held a Teach-In which focused on the history, culture, religion and politics of the Middle Eastern region. A similar event is planned for Columbia College. Additionally, numerous faculty held class discussions regarding these tragic incidents.
New York "Fallen Brothers"
Dr. Riggs reported that the Columbia College Fire Department, assisted by the Tuolumne County and Sonora Fire Departments, has collected approximately $28,000 in donations to support the families of New York firefighters who lost their lives while rescuing victims of the World Trade Center disaster. The funds will go to the Fallen Brothers Foundation.
Recent Campus/Community Events
Future Celebrating Diversity Events
It was reported that MJC recently published an attractive brochure of special events in 2001-2002 that celebrates diversity. Congratulations were expressed to staff who published the brochure and to the many individuals who are responsible for extensive planning and preparation. The next event in this series is the November 2 appearance of Maya Angelou. Seats in the gymnasium for this live event are sold out. A televised presentation will be available in the auditorium for a fee of $5.
A motion was made by Mr. Rojas, seconded by Mr. Mitchell that the Board of Trustees take the following action on the Consent Agenda:
Approve the purchase orders issued from August 1, 2001 through August 31, 2001.
Acceptance of Gifts - MJC
Accept with appreciation the following gifts:
Acceptance of Gifts - CC
Accept with appreciation the following gifts:
Notice of Completion of Contract
Accept the work performed by Silveira General Construction for Construction of Ag Storage Building at Modesto Junior College, East Campus, Bid #01-1472, as having been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications, and authorize final payment to be made.
Rejection of Claim
Reject the claim filed by Malcolm Gross on behalf of Stephen Carroll and refer the claim to the District's claims administrator and legal counsel.
Notice of Completion of Contract
Accept the work performed by Teichert Construction for Pavement Projects, Student Center Drive and Baseball/Ag New Parking Lot at Modesto Junior College East Campus, Bid #01-1474, as having been completed in accordance with the plans and specifications, and authorize final payment to be made.
The motion carried by a vote of 6 ayes and 1 abstention (Neumann).
Summer 2002 Calendar
Last year the Board approved the 2002 summer session to begin on May 20, 2002, and end on July 25, 2002. The colleges have requested a change in the start and end dates. Both colleges prefer to begin the summer session one week later, May 28, 2002, and end the 10-week session on August 1, 2002. The 10-week summer schedule will accommodate two five-week summer sessions as well as shorter term classes.
A motion was made by Mr. Allen, seconded by Ms. Schrimp, that the Board of Trustees approve the change in the dates for summer session 2002 to May 28 through August 1.
The motion carried by a vote of 7-0.
2002-2003 Academic Calendar
The Chancellor reported that after three years of study, review and extensive campus deliberations, consensus had been reached on a compressed calendar for the fall and spring terms (comprised of 16 weeks) and a full summer term (comprised of 15 weeks). Dr. Fisher said this change will maximize the use of the colleges' facilities, allow more growth without additional expensive new buildings, and enable students to complete their program studies sooner if they choose to do so.
The YFA agreed to the new calendar in the recently negotiated agreement. (Report #2039) The calendar issues presented by CSEA, Chapter 420, also were addressed.
It was reported that following Board approval, the calendar would be submitted to the State Chancellor's Office for formal approval. Locally, efforts were well underway to plan for implementation. The Chancellor thanked everyone involved for their efforts, especially the union presidents.
A motion was made by Mr. Rojas, seconded by Ms. Flores, that the Board of Trustees approve the 2002-2003 Columbia and Modesto Junior Colleges academic calendars.
The motion carried by a vote of 7-0.
CSEA, Chapter 420, Collective Bargaining Agreement
The Chancellor was pleased to announce that on October 5, 2001, representatives of CSEA, Chapter 420, and the District reached a tentative negotiated agreement for the period July 1, 2001 to June 30, 2004. Highlights of the agreement include:
The Chancellor announced that she had just been informed that CSEA already had taken the next step in the approval process. Ms. Becki Scharffer, CSEA President, Chapter 420 reported that they had received the okay from the State office and were now able to move forward with the ratification process. Dr. Fisher thanked Ms. Scharffer's and Mr. Peralta's teams for their hard work.
A motion was made by Mr. Rojas, seconded by Mr. Allen, that the Board of Trustees approve the negotiated agreement between CSEA, Chapter 420, and YCCD pending ratification by the membership of CSEA, Chapter 420, and State CSEA.
The motion carried with a vote of 7-0.
Order of Agenda Change
Mr. Mitchell asked and trustees agreed to act on the project applications/amendments and personnel items prior to addressing the agenda item regarding the MJC Firing Range.
A motion was made by Mr. Mitchell, seconded by Ms. Flores, that the Board of Trustees authorize the Yosemite Community College District to submit the following project applications/amendments and to enter into a contract with the appropriate donor agencies when the projects are selected for funding. (Report #2040)
a. Faculty and Staff Diversity Registry – YCCD
Submitted to California Community Colleges Chancellor's Office
Agency share: $62,500; Proposer Share: $0
b. CASS Cycle 2001- Ag Science - MJC
Submitted to Georgetown University
Agency share: $489,600; Proposer share: $0
c. Migrant Head Start Intensive Teacher Training Program – MJC
Submitted to Stanislaus County Office of Education
Agency share: $29,145; Proposer share: $0
d. Pathways to MJC for Parents of Young Children – MJC
Submitted to Modesto City Schools
Agency share: $17,248; Proposer share: $0
e. Work Study Remodeling – MJC
Submitted to Jerry Ann Gradford
Agency share: $32,000; Proposer share: $0
f. Innovative Practices, Building and Trades Industry Sector – MJC
Submitted to California Department of Education
Agency share: $289,081; Proposer share: $0
g. Science Teaching Academy and Network (STAN)
Submitted to California Postsecondary Education Commission – MJC
Agency share: $93,117 (first year); Proposer share: $0
h. Rural Access to Teaching and Learning in Environmental Science (RATTLES)-MJC
Submitted to California Postsecondary Education Commission
Agency share: $228,600 (year one only); Proposer share: $0
i. Faculty and Staff Diversity Registry – YCCD
Submitted to California Community Colleges
Agency share: $300,000 (year one only); Proposer share: $0
j. CARES (Compensation and Retention Encourage Stability) – YCCD
Submitted to Stanislaus County Children and Families Commission
Agency share: $500,000; Proposer share: $0
k. Child Development Training Consortium (Amendment No. 2)
Submitted to State of California Department of Education
Agency share: $3,707,740; Proposer share: $0
The motion carried with a vote of 7-0.
The Chancellor presented the personnel items for the Board's approval. She and trustees recognized and granted retirement status to Ricardo Vasquez, Carl Welch, Grover Killebrew, Suzanne Quigley, Jerry Baughman, and Norine Holmes. Trustees officially commended them for their valuable service to the District.
A motion was made by Mr. Allen, seconded by Mr. Mitchell that the following action be taken on the personnel items:
Approve the retirement of Ricardo Vasquez, Grounds Maintenance Specialist, YCCD Facilities Operations, effective December 28, 2001 and commended him for 30 years of valuable service to the District.
Approve the retirement of Carl Welch, Skilled Craft Technician, Painter, YCCD Facilities Operations, effective December 28, 2001 and commend him for 34 years of valuable service to the District.
Approve the retirement of Grover Killebrew, Custodian, YCCD Facilities Operations, effective December 28, 2001, and commend him for 14 years of valuable service to the District.
Approve the retirement of Suzanne Quigley, Custodian, YCCD Facilities Operations, effective December 28, 2001, and commend her for 16 years of valuable service to the District.
Approve the retirement of Jerry Baughman, Custodial Supervisor, YCCD Facilities Operations, effective December 28, 2001, and officially commend him for 25 years of valuable service to the District.
Approve the retirement of Norine Holmes, Administrative Secretary II, Columbia College, effective May 31, 2002, and officially commend her for 23 years of valuable service to the District.
Approve the promotional appointment of Carla Wightman to Admissions and Records Evaluator, Admissions and Records and Evaluations, Modesto Junior College, effective October 1, 2001.
Approve the promotional appointment of Claudia Ramirez to Job/Coach CalWORKS Work Study, Financial Aid, Modesto Junior College, effective, October 9, 2001, contingent upon funding.
Approve the contract management appointment of Lori Hedges to Manager of Foster and Kinship Care Education, Columbia College, effective October 15, 2001. This is a 30-hour per week, 12-month per year position.
Approve the appointment of Otis Bryant to the position of Lead Mechanic, YCCD Transportation, effective October 12, 2001.
Approve the temporary appointment (interim) of Debra Tavernier to the position of Nursing Instructor, Allied Health Division, Modesto Junior College for Fall 2001.
Approve the probationary appointment of Susan Vegter-Slape to the position of Executive Secretary to the Vice President of Instruction, Columbia College, effective October 8, 2001.
Approve the probationary appointment of Robert Massey to the position of Security Officer, Columbia College, effective September 17, 2001.
Approve the probationary appointment of Valerie Erwin to Secretary III, Technical Education, Ag, Environmental Sciences & Technical Education, Modesto Junior College, effective September 10, 2001.
Approve the probationary appointment of Linda Watkins, to Support Staff Specialist (100%), Student Services, Columbia College, effective October 8, 2001, contingent upon funding (12-month work year).
Approve the probationary appointment of Eduardo Ramirez, Custodian, Facilities Operations, Modesto Junior College, effective October 8, 2001.
Approve the probationary appointment of Renee Madewell, Custodian, 50%, Facilities Operations, Modesto Junior College, effective October 3, 2001.
Rebecca "Becky" Plaza
Approve the probationary appointment of Rebecca "Becky" Plaza to Outreach Coordinator, Student Information/Campus Outreach, Modesto Junior College, effective October 15, 2001.
Approve the probationary appointment of Marvin Caldwell to the position of Programmer Analyst, Information Systems, YCCD, effective November 19, 2001.
Lilia Yvette Davis
Approve the probationary appointment of Lilia Yvette Davis to Program Assistant - CASS, Workforce Training Center, Modesto Junior College, effective October 15, 2001, contingent upon funding.
Approve the probationary appointment of Donna Blagg to Support Staff Technician, Allied Health, Family & Consumer Science, Modesto Junior College, effective September 1, 2001.
Approve the probationary appointment of Bridget Beck to Program Assistant - EOPS (47.5%), EOPS, Modesto Junior College, effective September 17, 2001, contingent upon funding (10-month work year).
Approve the probationary appointment of Lori Hunt to Secretary II, Agriculture Education Tech Prep, Ag, Environmental Sciences & Technical Education, Modesto Junior College, effective November 19, 2001, contingent upon funding.
Approve the probationary appointment of Jill Johnson to Program Assistant - CalWORKS, Workforce Training Center, Modesto Junior College, effective September 17, 2001, contingent upon funding.
Approve the probationary appointment of Sonia Boles to Program Assistant, Workforce Training Center, Modesto Junior College, effective September 17, 2001, contingent upon funding.
Approve the probationary appointment of Juan Zamora to General Clerk (47.5%), Counseling, Modesto Junior College, effective October 1, 2001, contingent upon funding (10 month work year).
Approve the probationary appointment of Chrys Day to Instructional, Assistant Health and Human Performance at Columbia College, effective October 1, 2001. This is a 10 hours per week, 10 months per year assignment.
Approve the probationary appointment of Victor Campos to the position of Campus Security Officer (80%), YCCD Security, effective October 10, 2001.
Reorganization - Classified
Approve the following actions effective October 15, 2001:
A. Abolish the following classified positions:
B. Create the following positions:
1. Director of Marketing & Public Relations, Columbia College (management salary range 28); and
2. Executive Secretary, Office of Facilities Planning & Operations (management confidential range 13).
C. Appoint Doug Lau and Judith Lanchester, respectively, currently employed in the two affected positions, to the new management assignments.
Joan Van Kuren
Approve the promotional appointment of Joan Van Kuren from Support Staff Technician to Program Specialist - Bridges to Baccalaureate Program, Science, Mathematics & Engineering, Modesto Junior College, effective September 12, 2001, contingent upon funding.
Mary Ann Newnam
Approve an increase in assignment from 50% to 100% for May Ann Newnam, YCCD Custodian, effective September 4, 2001.
Approve an increase in assignment from 50% to 75% and a temporary increase in assignment from 75% to 100% (October 1 to November 30, 2001) for Nancy Holmes, Program Assistant, Real Estate Education Center, YCCD, effective October 1, 2001.
Approve a temporary increase in assignment for James Bailey, Learning Assistant Tutor, Tutoring, Student Services, Modesto Junior College, as needed to a maximum 19 hours per week effective from August 20, 2001 to May 17, 2002.
Accept the request of a voluntary demotion for Ina Heinrichs, Columbia College, from Administrative Secretary for Administrative Services to Secretary I, Mailroom/ Instructional Materials Center at Columbia College, effective October 3, 2001.
Accept the resignation of Sharon Kachadoorian, Support Staff Specialist, Columbia College, effective October 5, 2001.
Approve the resignation of Vickie Kennedy, Support Staff Technician, Community Outreach and Development/Public Information, Columbia College, effective October 19, 2001.
Accept the resignation of Azenda Campbell, Support Staff Specialist, Business, Behavioral and Social Sciences, Modesto Junior College, effective September 21, 2001.
Accept the resignation of Robert Massey, Security Officer - Graveyard Shift, Columbia College, effective September 19, 2001.
Kristi Le Rette
Accept the resignation of Kristi Le Rette, Program Specialist, Student Outreach and Development at Columbia College, effective October 5, 2001.
Confirm the termination of probationary classified employment of William Logan, Campus Security Officer, Modesto Junior College, effective August 30, 2001.
The motion carried with a vote of 7-0.
MJC Firing Range
Before discussion started on this item, Board President Hallinan asked Vice President Mitchell to chair the meeting for this item as he did not agree with his colleagues regarding how they wished to run the meeting.
Mr. Mitchell stated that this issue has been discussed for the last eight months. He explained that the discussion would consist of a presentation to the Board of Trustees by staff, faculty and law enforcement representatives. Trustees would then have the opportunity to ask questions. Members of the public could request to address trustees. Each person would be allowed 5 minutes of time. Mr. Mitchell also clarified that if anyone had a question, it should be addressed to the Board and not to specific individuals.
The Chancellor reported that this was not a new issue. It is one that has had long discussions. Plans to accommodate growth and improvements to the MJC West Campus have been implemented over the last five years and a proposal to close the range and relocate the program had been developed.
The Chancellor reported that one aspect of the changes to West Campus had been the relocation of the Criminal Justice Training Center facilities. The former facilities were temporary WWII buildings and were considered undesirable by prospective and current law enforcement students. In addition, there was growing concern that a live firing range in the middle of a growing and busy campus was incompatible. Thus, the campus Master Plan evolved to include the plan for relocation of this program and facilities.
Approximately three and a half years ago, the Yosemite Community College District signed a Joint Powers Agreement with the County of Stanislaus (on behalf of the Sheriff's Office) and the City of Modesto (on behalf of the Police Department) to build and operate new law enforcement training facilities on property near the Stanislaus County Public Safety Center. The facility has since been built, the CJTC program moved, and the old buildings removed from the MJC West Campus.
The agreement also called for a new firing range to be built and used by the JPA partners. Recently, the CJTC JPA agreed to support and use the Modesto Police Department's new firing range that is being built on West Main Street near Patterson. Plans call for the Criminal Justice firearms classes (90% of the use), and the Administration of Justice firearms classes (10% of the use) to be held at the MPD firing range. The agreement also calls for MJC to continue to provide a range coordinator and the use of our weapons arsenal. This agreement made it feasible to remove the MJC firing range from the West Campus and proceed with the college plans for that site.
The Chancellor stated that as these plans developed this spring, environmental testing that is required for all remodeling, removal or construction projects was conducted at the firing range site. The preliminary testing yielded results that required more extensive lead testing. The conclusion of the hazardous waste consultants was that the firing range and surrounding area have considerable environmental lead contamination that must be removed. The consultants, the district architect, and our own staff, also confirmed that significant shrapnel was escaping from the range. This was determined to be a safety hazard to anyone in the area and a major potential liability.
Following the initial environmental testing, the lead consultants reported to the District that the cistern which pumps water out of the range must be shut down immediately. It was found to be releasing lead-contaminated water into our water disposal system. The District complied as required by law and the cistern was shut down.
After the escaping shrapnel was confirmed, the option of making immediate repairs was discussed. The lead consultants stated that no repairs could be made to the range until the lead contamination was removed and that only certified lead abatement specialists are authorized to do the clean up. They also recommended that the abatement occur before the rainy season begins. Significant rainfall, they stated, will spread the contamination even further and increase the costs of clean up.
Dr. Fisher said the District has taken several steps in response to this new information. The firing range was closed temporarily for health and safety reasons in late July. As the MPD firing range was not yet complete, temporary use of the Sheriff's Office Laird Park facility was obtained for the police academy students. Two Administration of Justice classes were cancelled for the fall term but will be offered in the spring. As a backup plan, the Turlock Police Chief has stated that their new facility can be used as an alternate site in the unlikely event that the MPD facility is not complete by January 2002.
Dr. Fisher said that bid specifications have been written and published to identify an authorized vendor to do the lead clean up of the range and surrounding area. Estimates for the lead abatement begin at approximately $150,000. The lead consultants also recommend that once the site is cleaned that it not be reused for the same purpose as the current configuration will cause the contamination to occur again, necessitating yet another clean up.
Chancellor Fisher reported that a new development occurred recently. A formal request was received from Sheriff Dick Rogers of Tuolumne County indicating their interest in obtaining salvageable portions of the MJC firing range. It is their goal to relocate the facility and build a range on property owned by Tuolumne County. Once it is completed, MJC's Criminal Justice Training Center, in cooperation with Columbia College, will offer POST certified and credit classes at the new site in Tuolumne County. Since Tuolumne County and Columbia College are part of the Yosemite Community College District's service area, this goal is consistent with our mission for serving the entire area. In fact, Dr. Fisher said it has long been a shared goal to increase the number of law enforcement offerings to the communities in the foothills.
In summary, the Chancellor said that the twenty-six-year-old MJC firing range is incompatible at its current site due to the extensive growth and activity in the immediate area and throughout the campus. Consequently, it poses significant health and safety challenges. In the proposal before the Board of Trustees, current firearms programs will be offered at the Modesto Police Department's firing range (or at the Turlock facility, if necessary) and new courses will be offered at the Tuolumne County Sheriff's firing range in the future. Additionally, clean up and removal of the old range will meet environmental requirements and allow campus instructional and service plans to continue to be implemented in a safe and appropriate way.
Dr. Stan Hodges, Interim MJC President, provided a brief history of the changes at the West Campus. He said changes include additions to the child development center, a new soccer field, and two large classroom buildings. By the fall of 2002 the campus population will jump from approximately 3,000 students to 6,000 students and is likely to reach 10,000 students in another three to five years. Dr. Hodges said the primary interest throughout the development process has been the best interests of students. He affirmed that the needs of the Criminal Justice and Administration of Justice programs will be met with new or alternate ranges and facilities that are newer and better than what is currently on campus.
Dr. Jim Guffey, Director of the Criminal Justice Training Center, introduced our law enforcement partners.
Chief Roy Wasden, Modesto Police Department, reported that the MPD firing range is moving forward. Currently the target system is ready to go out to bid. He hopes the range will be functional by the end of December 2001 or first part of January 2002.
Lt. George Ruckman, from the Tuolumne Sheriff's Department, expressed his department's interest in portions of the MJC firing range for the development of a new facility in Tuolumne County.
Ms. Maria Baker, Director of Facilities Development and Operations, talked about the lead contamination and the abatement process. Representatives from Hazardous Management Services, Inc. (Mr. Jim Sharp, Mr. Mike Sharp and Mr. Bert Olhiser) were present at the meeting. Mr. Jim Sharp provided a brief background of their company and services.
YCCD asked Hazardous Management Services (HMS) to address the possible lead contamination problem at the range. Mr. Jim Sharp stated that they found high levels of lead contaminations throughout the firing range site. They advised YCCD not to allow people to work in the contaminated areas which include the soil and the various structures at the site. Mr. Sharp added that the de-watering system must be closed as well because it is causing on-site and off-site contamination. They recommend closure take place before the raining season in order to prevent further contamination. Mr. Hallinan asked how long the contamination had been a problem. Mr. Sharp said that lead contamination had not been an issue for many years because no lead regulations existed. However, regulation has become an issue in the last 7-8 years.
Some MJC faculty requested to address the board and express their opinions about the firing range.
John Mendes, MJC Ag Professor, oversees intern students on the West Campus who manage the animal units. In addition to the noise disturbance from the range, he expressed the fear of students being so close to the range when the shooting occurs. The noise not only affects the students but also the animals. Mr. Mendes said he understands the firing range is a program lab but it creates a threatening situation for an increasing number of students.
Doug Smith, Photography Professor, said the moving of the firing range has been discussed for at least 5-6 years. With respect to the noise created by the range, he said that he and colleagues have put up with the noise and perhaps have become desensitized to the sound of gunshots. Since noise is a problem in South and North Halls, it will be even worse, he said, in the new classroom buildings. Relative to comments he has heard about guns on campus not being a problem, Mr. Smith said that although that had not happened often, a student had admitted to him that a gun had been brought into one of the photography dark rooms. He has heard of 4-5 other such cases. Mr. Smith stated that he does not lobby against the use of guns, but believes at this point there is a need to discuss these concerns.
Marsha Kidd, retired Physical Education Professor, described her experiences while teaching on West Campus. She described how students have been startled, distracted, and annoyed by the shooting noise. She also received complaints from schools that participate in sports competitions on West Campus. Ms. Kidd stated that the moving of the firing range was not a new issue, it had been part of the long range plan for the West Campus for many years. She said that with the coming of more students to West Campus there will be even more students startled and frightened.
Terry Lyle, Allied Health Professor, who had previously addressed the board on this issue, said he agreed with his colleagues that the firing range is not compatible with the other educational programs on the West Campus.
Diane Wirth, Faculty Coordinator for Allied Health Division/Family Consumer Science, reported that the faculty from the Family Consumer Sciences Division had asked her to submit to the Board of Trustees their petition opposing re-opening the firing range on the West Campus. Ms. Wirth said the opposition is due to the potential danger, noise and pollution caused by the range in such close proximity to children and students. She said faculty support the program and recognize its value, and because there was no alternative they had lived with the problems. However, now that there is another option they do not want the firing range re-opened. In their discussions faculty took into consideration the increasing student population on West Campus and the rapid increase in the child development program. Ms. Wirth said that currently they have over 400 children on a waiting list. She said that while you can assure students they are in no danger, every semester classes are interrupted because of the shooting noise.
Ms. Maria Baker, Director of Facilities Planning and Operations, outlined the next steps that would be taken if the Board approved the recommendation. She stated that the lead abatement project had gone out to bid, and contingent upon the Board's approval, a determination would be made on how to modify the scope of that abatement activity. Abatement involves removal of the dewatering system, cleaning of the entire facility, removal of the contaminated soil and vegetation and disposal of all this material. Modification to the abatement activity will be made after discussions with Tuolumne County Sheriff's office about what they can use from the firing range. Ms. Baker explained that once the bids are opened, the contract will be awarded. Ms. Baker said the base cost for the abatement is estimated at $150,000 but could go higher.
Comments from the audience:
Paul Payne, liaison to the Executive Vice President of the NRA, said that in light of the terrorist attacks of September 11 the destruction of the firing range or any premium facility is not in the best interest of our nation or this community. He stated that the NRA has mechanisms in place (including financial assistance) to assist range facilities with maintenance, upkeep, safety, training and environmental issues. Mr. Payne stated that the Board has been offered the NRA's assistance and recommended that trustees take advantage of these benefits.
Jeff Caufield introduced himself as an attorney retained by concerned citizens over some the legal liabilities that Board of Trustees may be incurring. He said he had formally submitted his comments to the district's legal counsel. Mr. Caufield stated that the district must comply with the California Environment Quality Act (CEQA) or be subject to legal challenges. He also stated that the Board of Trustees was not meeting its obligation under the JPA agreement. He suggested that by keeping the range open the cost of the abatement would be avoided and revenue could be gained by selling the lead.
Don Clark, retired MJC Professor, said that prior to 2001 two environmental reports had been done on the storm drain. He said that as far back as 1942 that area had been used by the Hammond General Army Hospital as a waste disposal site. One of the reports was done in 1994 by the Army Corps of Engineers and the other in 1995 by HMS. These reports did not mention that the contamination was caused by the firing range. Mr. Clark said it was not until the 2001 HMS report that the firing range was referenced as the cause. He also stated that the issue of noise cannot be used as the cause to close a firing range. He asked trustees to put off making a decision about the range until they have looked over the two reports he mentioned, and assessed the real cause of the contamination. Mr. Clark added that the proposed Tuolumne County facility is years away, as is the MPD range.
Jose Flores, MJC student, said he has been a West Campus student for four years. He said he is not able to concentrate on his studies because of the noise from the range. Mr. Flores said students pay to learn and should be able to listen to their instructors, but many times instructors must interrupt their classes because of the noise. He said students should have a good learning environment and a safe campus.
Noralynn Gould, local business person and MJC part-time instructor, said the firing range is a great asset to the campus. She said it is an asset because it provides training that is female and family friendly.
David Geer, MJC student, member of the Stanislaus County Members Council of the NRA, member of the Modesto City Qualities Forum, and veteran of the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory Security Force, said he is in favor of retaining this firing range. He cautioned trustees about possibly being in violation of the Brown Act by going out to bid to destroy the range. Mr. Neumann corrected him by saying that the bid process was for the lead abatement and not destruction of the range. Mr. Neumann pointed out that the abatement will happen whether the range is open or closed.
Margie Perez-Sesser, Child Development Instructor, said she was there to talk about the 200 children on campus, 60 of which are under the age of three. Ms. Perez-Sesser said children need to feel safe and it is hard to explain to them that they are safe when they hear shooting. She submitted to the Board of Trustees petitions from the parents of the families they serve who feel the range does not belong on the West Campus.
John Rose, citizen, refuted the statements made about the dangers of the range. He said that in the 26 years that the range has been on West Campus there has not been one student injured. The only injury reported occurred to a police officer under the supervision of other police officers. He said noise is not a valid reason for closing a range in California. He stated that he did not believe trustees knew the value of the range. He questioned making a decision when the value has not been assessed. He reminded trustees that the NRA offered to conduct an evaluation of the range but that offer was not accepted.
Paul Milligan, science teacher with Modesto City Schools, said that as a result of dissatisfaction with the image of fire arms and the overall ignorance of students regarding fire arms, he and a colleague started the Marksman's Club at Mark Twain Junior High. Their group was small but Mr. Milligan suggested that if the MJC firing range were available to them more students would join their group.
Brian Weese, Boy Scout Master and guard at Livermore Lab, said he teaches fire arms safety to scouts. Mr. Weese said the range is an asset and would like to be able to use it with his family. He added that the noise can be abated by building sound walls around the range.
Dr. Hugh Kylie said he heard that at an Academic Senate meeting faculty members had voted to keep the range open. He asked for the result of that vote and that the information be made public. Trustee Mitchell said that information could be provided to him after the Board meeting. Dr. Kylie also said that the JPA agreement stated that the district had the obligation to provide training facilities. By closing the range he said the district relinquished its commitment to that agreement and continues to do so until a facility is available. He said he had checked and found no approved permits for the construction of the MPD facility. Dr. Kylie also wanted to know whether an EPA report exists for the new firing range. And, he wanted to know if there is a possibility that there might be lead contamination going into a federal waterway. Mr. Mitchell stated that all questions regarding the Modesto facility should be addressed to the Modesto City Council.
Marina Hepner, pastor and Patterson resident, stated that it would be beneficial to have a gun range at MJC rather than her church members having to drive to a range in Manteca, particularly during the foggy season. Ms. Hepner also said students probably will have difficulty finding transportation to the MPD range in Patterson.
Harold Hepner, citizen from Patterson, expressed his support for keeping the range open.
Gary Kailes said the range had a proven safety record and that money to repair and maintain the range could be provided by an NRA grant. He said our country is in need of trained police and security personnel. MJC has provided that training and he hopes it will continue to do so.
John Madden, a teacher with Modesto City Schools, said there should be a way to compromise and keep the firing range open. He repeated what others had said about noise not being a valid reason for closing the firing range. He recommended that trustees take advantage of the offers made by the NRA.
Gary Cornish, a citizen from Southern California, stated that the Orange County Sheriff and Police Departments have an indoor firing range facility in the middle of Anaheim and they do not have any problems with it.
Mr. Rojas asked district counsel Marilyn Kaplan to comment on the CEQA issue mentioned earlier. Attorney Marilyn Kaplan explained that the issue is a legal matter and cautioned against making legal pronouncements at a Board meeting. She stated that she did not believe there is anything in what the Board is considering that requires legal action be taken under CEQA.
In summarizing the discussions that took place, Mr. Mitchell said trustees had heard from staff and the public and now must take action on the recommendation before them.
Mr. Neumann complimented Chief Wasden on the MPD Firing Range and what they are accomplishing. He had visited the range and said that eventually the MPD firing range will be a remarkable facility. Mr. Neumann said that his responsibility is to the college and it happens to contain a firing range. He said he would vote to support the recommendation to close the MJC firing range, as it's incompatible where it is now.
Mr. Rojas agreed with Trustee Neumann. He said he hoped that the NRA makes the same offer to the MPD to make that facility a first rate facility. He disagreed with those individuals who commented that the Board may be rushing to make a decision. He pointed out that he had read all the information regarding this issue and answered all the calls and letters he received.
Ms. Delsie Schrimp said that she and her husband are not opposed to guns. They both own and know how to use guns. They live near the Oakdale Gun Club so she is familiar with the noise and that is not an issue for her. However, she said she does have a problem with having a firing range on a campus with over 6,000 students. She is concerned with safety and the escaping of shrapnel. She supported the recommendation.
Mr. Hallinan said that if we had the resources to build another range we probably would not put it where it is. But it's there and, in his opinion, it does have value. He also said in light of the recent attacks on our country, gun sales have skyrocketed, and whether you support or oppose gun control, we all support gun safety. Mr. Hallinan added those of us involved in education see things very myopically like our students and our staff but we're supposed to represent the entire community. He also said another thing that bothered him was the process. We closed the range and didn't have an alternative. He asked why we decided to do a hazardous materials study now.
Ms. Flores stated that she, too, had reviewed the facts. She said she realized that there are many aspects to consider and believes students need a safe and secure campus. The weapons facility on campus is in opposition to her belief and, therefore, she supported closure of the range.
Doralynn Foletti, Student Trustee, reported on behalf of the students senates from Columbia College and MJC . She said both senates feel the Board has done its best to keep everyone informed on the process. Trustees have not turned their backs on the past yet they are trying to embrace the future and provide a higher level of learning. The MJC Student Senate formally voted in favor of closing the range and Columbia College's Student Senate supports their vote, as did Ms. Foletti.
Mr. Mitchell said he had listened to determine if there had been a lack of information as the trustees worked toward making a decision regarding the recommendation before them. He said he did not see where anything was overlooked nor did he see anything that would warrant changing the direction set by the Master Plan. Mr. Mitchell said the district is moving to accommodate a growing student population. The Board's decision has nothing to do with eliminating programs. They are simply talking about moving a program to a newer facility owned by one of our partners in the Criminal Justice Training Program. Mr. Mitchell said this is nothing different from what occurred with the Beckwith Ranch and the Ray Simon CJTC.
Before concluding discussion on this item, Mr. Hallinan said there were some questions from the audience that should be answered. He said Dr. Kylie had three questions. He had asked about the Academic Senate's vote regarding the firing range. Mr. Don Clark, who had attended that meeting, said the vote had been unanimous for keeping the range open. Kylie's second question was regarding the EPA report relative to the MPD firing range. Mr. Mitchell suggested that be directed to the Modesto City Council. Dr. Kylie's third question was about contamination of a federal waterway. Mr. Sharp responded that several agencies would respond if that were the case. Mr. Hallinan asked how long the day care center had been in place. Dr. Fisher stated that it was built around1974. The program, however, has quadrupled in size in the last two years. Mr. Mitchell surfaced the concern of transportation to the new range. The Chancellor said that if transportation becomes a problem for students it will be addressed.
A motion was made by Mr. Neumann, seconded by Mr. Allen, that the Board of Trustees authorize proceeding with conducting lead abatement at the MJC firing range site, closing the range and donating salvageable portions of the firing range to the Tuolumne County Sheriff's Office, and preparing an agreement with the County of Tuolumne regarding the transfer of this property and the provision of firearms training at their new range.
The motion carried by a vote of 6 ayes (Allen, Flores, Mitchell, Neumann, Rojas, Schrimp) and 1 nay (Hallinan).
COMMENTS FROM THE PUBLIC
Janice Walker (taxpayer from Orange County) had requested to address the Board regarding items discussed at the October Board of Trustees meeting.
Ms. Walker focused her comments on the salary raises (Executive Administrators) approved by the Board at the October Board meeting. Ms. Walker distributed handouts to trustees with her analysis. She said she felt the information that had been provided to the Board in October mis-represented the information and she asked the Board to review that agenda item again.
At 8:15 p.m., the Board of Trustees adjourned to special closed session meetings on October 17 and 18 for the purpose of interviewing and considering candidates for the MJC presidency.
The next regular meeting will be Tuesday, December 11, 2001. The change is necessary as the Education Code requires that the annual organizational meeting be held within 15 days after the first Friday in December. The meeting will be held at Columbia College. Closed session will be at 3:30 p.m. and open session at 5:00 p.m.
For planning purposes, it was noted that the January meeting will be held on Wednesday, January 2, 2002. The first Tuesday is January 1, which is a holiday.
Tom P. Hallinan, President Pamila J. Fisher, Secretary
YCCD Board of Trustees YCCD Board of Trustee