The race is on to fill the seats of two Chaffey Community College District board members.
Five candidates are running for the positions – Christopher Agrella, businessman; Paul Avila, Ontario-Montclair School District board member; Irene Hernandez-Blair, county employee; and two incumbents, Katie Roberts and Kathy Brugger.
The candidates each has their own reason for running in the Nov. 3 election.
Garey High School graduate Agrella attended UC Riverside and Rio Hondo College in Whittier. He has gone through the carpenter apprenticeship program at Rio Hondo College , achieving a certificate of journeyman status with the Carpenters Union No. 1752 in Pomona.
He advanced to site superintendent status in his company. He then moved on to be a site inspector for school districts throughout the state.
The 55-year-old Montclair resident has also lived in the Pomona Valley area for 44 years and manages distribution and logistics for trade magazines.
He’s been married to his wife Donna for more than 29 years, and has five children, 13 grandchildren and two great-grandchildren.
Agrella is not affiliated with any clubs or organizations but is a board member of the Ontario Western Little League and ran for Congress in 2008 in the 38th District. He also ran in 2009 for the Assembly in the 32nd District.
He said he wants to bring a change of representation to the college .
“Both for the students and their communities. The time for a change is no better than now,” he said. “I will bring in fresh ideas and solve lingering problems that this college district hasn’t been able to fix in two terms.”
Three-term elected OMSD board member Avila has lived in the Chaffey district for 32 years and is also a retired state counselor.
The 65-year-old Ontario resident has a bachelor’s degree in English from Cal State San Bernardino, as well as a master in boardsmanship and governance through the CSBA/University of Riverside.
Avila, who is married with five adult children, holds current memberships in the California School Board Association, Ontario Chamber of Commerce, San Bernardino County Superintendent of Schools Association and Ontario Hispanic Heritage
He also holds past memberships to San Bernardino County Grand Jury, San Bernardino County Democrats Central Committee, California State Employees Association, San Bernardino County 61 Assembly District and is an Ontario Police/Citizen Academy graduate.
Avila has also served in the Army and is a Vietnam veteran as a former member, 4/47th Air Mobile/Riverine Task Force, 9th Infantry Division.
He has also run unsuccessfully for the Assembly, Chaffey College board and Ontario City Council.
“I am not a team player when it comes to monetary barriers that prevent access and retention to a college education for which all students are at risk of losing; as they pursue their dreams to a successful college education,” Avila said.
“I am encouraged to seek said office for the purpose and goals to restore reasonable/affordable tuition to all students by providing an effective, exploitative, and creative voice in behalf of students, classified employees, and the invisible voiceless individuals.”
Brugger, a Chaffey incumbent who has served on the board for 16 years, is retired and has lived in the area for 47 years.
The 66-year-old Rancho Cucamonga resident is married with three children.
Brugger is a graduate of Montclair High School, Chaffey College and Cal Poly Pomona.
Organizations Brugger is affiliated with are the Chaffey Community College Alumni Association, American Association of University Women, ChaffeyCommunity Art Association, Cooper Museum, Assistance League the Foothills Communities, California FRW, Rancho Cucamonga YMCA, the ChaffeyCollege Foundation Golf Tournament, Classified Senate Scholarship Fund.
As for political involvement, Brugger is an appointee of the governor to the California State Teachers Retirement System.
Brugger said she has three reasons for serving the Chaffey Community College board.
“(No. 1), expanding public/private partnerships for a highly trained workforce; (No. 2) maintaining the college ‘s commitment to academic/educational cooperation with our international students,” she said “(And No. 3), enhance our campuswide policy of service to the public. Finding effective answers to educational issues is achieved by workling as a TEAM for our student, staff, and communities.”
Know more about Brugger at www.vote4kathybrugger.com
Los Angeles County employee Hernandez-Blair is an 11-year resident to the Chaffey College district.
The 42-year-old Chino resident is married with two children and a grandson.
Hernandez-Blair has educational certificates, including an Advanced Professional Development Certificate awarded by Cal State Northridge and is pursuing a bachelor’s degree in public administration, upon completion, she plans to pursue a master’s degree.
She is current member of P.F.A. at Briggs Fundamental School; 2008-09 vice-president of Doris Dickson P.T.A; 4th District commissioner, San Bernardino County – Commission on the Status of Women; president, American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees, Local 1083; participant of Parent Institute for Quality Education.
Hernandez-Blair was appointed as a commissioner on the Commission on the Status of Women and elected vice-president of Doris Dickson Parent Teacher Association and. president of American Federation of State County and Municipal Employees Local 1083.
She said she want to serve the Chaffey College board because she wants to ensure that all youth are encouraged to pursue higher education.
“Average and at-risk students should not be ignored. I want to promote higher education in all high schools. Educating parents about the financial resources and scholarships that are available is something that ‘must’ be immediately enacted,” Hernandez-Blair said.
Know more about Hernandez-Blair at www.vote4ihb.com
Chaffey incumbent Roberts is completing her second four-year term. She has lived in the Chaffey district for almost four decades.
The 67-year-old Upland resident has been married to her husband, Gordon, for 30 years and has one daughter and two step daughters.
Roberts, who is also a retired police captain, is a graduate of West Covina High and holds an associate’s degree from Mt. San Antonio College , a bachelor’s from Cal State Los Angeles, a master’s degree from Cal Poly Pomona and is a graduate of two-year Command College .
She is on the board of directors for the Ontario Rotary, West End Family Counseling, LEO childrens charity, Travelers Aid, Price Foundation and the Ontario Police Museum,and the First United Methodist Church.
Roberts has no political appointments or sought any political offices.
“Many years ago, a community college changed the course of my life,” Roberts said. “Working with my fellow board members I have been able to offer life-changing experiences to others. Chaffey has experienced and cohesive leadership prepared to take on these hard times. I believe I can help.”
Know more about Roberts at www.reelectkatie.com