Merced Community College District
Bond Oversight Committee Minutes
Thursday, March 6, 2008
Members Present: Michael Amabile, Andrea Garibay, William T. Warner, Mary Camper,
Dick Gerbi, Lucille Milani, Shawna Guerrero
Members Absent: William Edwards
Other Present: Larry Johnson, Marvin Smith, Sheila Flores (recording)
The meeting was called to order at 5:07 p.m. by Larry Johnson. The pledge of allegiance was led by Shawna Guerrero.
Each committee member and staff member introduced themselves.
At the last meeting, the committee agreed to wait until the next meeting to nominate and approve a Chairperson for the committee. Therefore, the item was placed on the agenda for action. Dick Gerbi nominated Mike Amabile as chairperson. It was MSCU (Gerbi/Garibay) to approve Mike Amabile as chairperson of the Bond Oversight Committee.
A student from the Merced Campus asked whether there was a plan to provide additional parking on the Merced Campus. Larry Johnson informed everyone that there is a project planned for this summer to extend parking lot J (the lot behind the new library), at the Merced Campus. This project will provide an additional 200 parking stalls for students on the campus. And, parking in Lot J is free. Larry explained that we recently performed a survey to determine if we had an appropriate amount of parking for students. Based on the survey, Merced College had the lowest student per parking stall ratio, of the colleges in the survey. (The colleges tested had an average ratio of 7.37 students per stall; Merced College has a ratio of 4.02 students per parking stall.)
It was MSCU (Milani/Edwards) to approve the minutes.
Larry referred to a copy of the 2006-07 Bond Oversight Annual Report that was mailed to the committee members prior to the meeting. Larry explained that the bond oversight committee is responsible for ensuring that bond revenues are expended only for the projects listed on the bond list of projects and that bond revenues are not expended on any teacher or administrative salaries or other school operating expenses. The bond oversight committee is responsible for releasing at least once per year, a bond oversight report for the public, which outlines the activities of the committee. All documents received by the Committee and reports issued by the Committee shall be a matter of public record and be made available on an Internet website maintained by the Governing Board of the District.
William Warner said that he had reviewed the audit against the financials in the annual report, and that all the numbers matched up. He also questioned why there were salaries and benefits paid out of bond funds when it was his understanding that salaries could not be paid out of bond funds.
Marvin explained that bond funds can be paid for salaries for those employees hired to work on bond projects only. For example, the amount of $12,761 was the salary paid to the account technician that maintains the bond budgets for each of the project. Proposition 39 states that funds cannot be used for any teacher or administrative salaries or other college operating costs.
Lucille Milani referred to page five of the Performance Audit where the auditor recommended that the any adjustments to the budgets for bond projects be forwarded to the Bond Oversight Committee. She asked if we were going to adopt any of the recommendations of the auditors. Marvin stated that throughout each project, the bond spending plan is adjusted when a project either comes in over, or under budget. He asked the committee if they wanted to see the updated spending plan at each meeting. There was consensus from the committee that they wanted to view the bond spending plan at each meeting.
Dick asked if we used the same auditor. Larry stated that we do use the same auditor.
Dick asked if we paid for the audit out of the bond funds. Marvin said that Proposition 39 clearly states that we cannot pay for the audit out of bond funds.
Dick Gerbi said that the auditor’s report only covers those items that they had sampled and not the entire bond financials. He recommended that the committee place a similar statement, such as “the committee reviewed the documents that were provided” in the annual report, to make sure the public was aware that each committee member did not review every single area of the bond.
After discussion, it was MSCU (Gerbi/Warner), to approve the 2006-07 annual report, with the following addition to paragraph one on page one of the report: The committee presents this report to the community based on information that has been provided to the committee and annual auditor’s reports.
Dr. Johnson referred to a handout, and gave a brief description of each of the projects. Below is a summary of his report:
Bonds Pass - On November 5, 2002, the Merced Community passed a bond for $53,500,000 to pay for projects for the Merced Campus.
On November 5, 2002, the Los Banos Community passed a bond for $11,930,000 to pay for a new Los Banos Campus.
Lesher Building Remodel - This project reactivates 21,660 assignable square feet to address the need for the development of centralized services on the Merced Campus. Admissions, Records, Registration, Counseling, Financial Aid, EOP&S, DSPS and other student services are consolidated into what was once the undersized library building. The project also includes the relocation of a portion of the bookstore and a number of student service functions from the Cafeteria Building. This project frees up space to be converted back to its original program designed usage for student center functions. There is a lack of student gathering and dining space to accommodate the growing enrollment of the campus. It is anticipated this project will be completed within the next couple weeks.
Allied Health Complex Project - This project constructs a new health occupations training center near the Tri-College Center. When completed, this building will house classrooms and laboratories for programs in nursing, medical imaging, and other related disciplines, and meeting room and faculty and staff offices. It is anticipated this project will be completed by Spring of 2009.
Administration Building Remodel - As a result of the Lesher Building Remodel, space in the Administration Building becomes available for Administrative functions. When completed, the building will house a state-of-the-art Board Room, Superintendent’s Office, Vice Presidents’ Offices, Deans’ Offices, Foundation and Business Office.
Student Union Building Remodel - This project is a secondary affect of the Lesher Building Remodel. The Student Union Building is modernized and the space becomes primarily student space. Included in this remodel are meeting rooms, Student Health and additional student study space.
Agriculture and Industrial Technology Complex - This project provides a new Agriculture Science and Industrial Technology building in response to changing education and technical training requirements of persons entering and continuing employment in the agriculture and industrial technology sectors of Merced County and the Statewide economy. Complementing the existing “dirty labs” for these programs, this project provides uniquely different “clean” technology oriented labs, which can be utilized for classes in the agriculture business, animal science, electronics, mechanized agriculture, plant science and for college/industry collaboration. This project is included in the Governor’s 2008-09 Budget.
Vocational Building Remodel Project - As a result of the Allied Health Complex Project, the Vocational Building will be remodeled to provide additional instructional lecture, lab, and office space for the campus. This project will be submitted to the Chancellor’s Office as a Final Project Proposal July 1, 2008.
Theater and Arts Building Remodels - The Theater and Art Buildings will be remodeled to remove inaccessible student functions from the Theater Basement. This project will be submitted to the Chancellor’s Office as an Initial Project Proposal July 1, 2008.
Sheila asked committee members if a Thursday at 5:00 p.m. was a good time and day for them. The committee was in agreement that the day and time was good for everyone. So, Sheila will schedule the next meeting on a Thursday at 5:00 p.m. in October, and the meeting will be held at the new Lesher Building on the Merced Campus.
The meeting adjourned at 6:12 p.m.
After the meeting a few of the members took a tour of the new Business Resource Center, led by Sheila Flores.