Where is everybody?

For November’s presidential election, I arrived at my Upland polling place about 10 minutes before it opened and lined up behind 50 voters waiting to mark their ballots.

This morning, I arrived about 10 minutes after the polls opened and was the very first voter. It was a kick being the voter asked to look inside the ballot box and verify that it was empty, but it was disappointing to see how few people bother with a local election. The only thing on my ballot was choosing two members of the Chaffey Community College District Governing Board.

That’s actually quite important, in my view. Half the people you talk to around here attended Chaffey College at one time or another, and a good number of our offspring will get their educations there. I should think people would want to make sure that the college, which trains a sizable portion of the Inland Valley work force, has competent leadership.

— Mike Brossart

Christopher Agrella, Chaffey College board challenger

I decided to run for this position as I felt there was a need for “fresh blood and new thinking” for the Chaffey Community College District.

I also felt that my 22 plus years experience in the California educational system will provide new insight and a better college environment for all students. I have both built and inspected classrooms, child care centers, and administration projects on college campuses as well as K-12 school districts throughout California. I have seen what works and what doesn’t work for a student’s education, and I will apply this knowledge to provide for a better student program.

I was an academic student at UC Riverside and a vocational student at Rio Hondo College, so I know what a student’s needs are at their college of choice. My Rio Hondo college education was through the carpenter’s union hall in Pomona as an apprentice in their four-year program where I achieved a certificate of journeyman status as a union carpenter.

I can assure the voters, that like my construction projects, I will strive to maximize the efficiency of this college district’s budgets, end wasteful spending, and provide the students the campus priorities they need, including adequate parking at all times on all campuses. We have incumbents that seem to have misplaced these student priorities by building new structures for even more students, while there is not ample parking now at Chaffey College for the students already trying to attend. I will have the needed parking structures built before my first four-year term ends, you can count on that!

In order to accomplish these goals, I need you, the voters of this district, to “park” your vote for me, Christopher Agrella, this Nov. 3. By electing me as your “new, fresh” board member, the Chaffey Community College District will flourish even more!

Christopher Agrella

Irene Hernandez-Blair, Chaffey College board challenger

My name is Irene Hernandez-Blair. I reside in Chino and I’m running for the Chaffey Community College Governing Board because I want to ensure equal outreach and equal opportunities for higher education to all the youth of our communities. In addition, with the high unemployment rate, it’s also important to have courses available to unemployed adults who may find that they need a degree in order to gain the necessary skills required to compete in today’s ever-changing workforce.

I realize that community college budgets have been significantly reduced, but considering other possibilities such as trade certificate programs offered by local unions is a viable option for higher learning. Another possibility is the building of partnerships with private businesses where student/employees could earn certificates via work place educational programs. Seeking such alternatives provide nothing less than successful benefits for the community as a whole.

I believe that it is time to reinvest in our youth and in our community. Higher education is no longer a luxury, it’s a necessity. Without a college education, our youth are depriving themselves of the opportunity of strong self-sufficiency. All students should be encouraged into higher education no matter their ZIP code, background or limited income. Outreach efforts should also include average students and at-risk students because community college could be the arena in which these young adults flourish. Our lack of encouragement could end up costing us more in their lifetimes if we were to ignore the fact that a higher education is essential for all the youth of our communities.

I’m a mother, wife and committed community member who strongly believes that change is necessary because the college-going rate in some Assembly Districts is not acceptable. Communities thrive when education is placed in the forefront, and that’s exactly what I intend to do with your help. If elected, I plan to conduct forums where high school seniors will be provided with all the benefits of a community college education. In addition, parents should be assisted in learning about the affordability of community college and assistance in understanding the availability of financial aid options.

Times are changing, so it’s time for a “new” voice for the youth of our community and the students of Chaffey Community College. On Nov. 3 please vote for Irene Hernandez-Blair — No. 1 on the ballot!

Endorsed by several well-respected elected officials and strongly supported by labor unions. www.vote4ihb.com
Irene Hernandez-Blair

Katie Roberts, Chaffey College board incumbent

In 1960 I left the safety of high school and followed my friends to community college–the first in my family to do so.  It was crowded.  Classes and parking were at a premium.  I had to borrow to make the tuition but I stuck to it. 
A kind professor suggested that I change my major to criminal justice and that is when my life truly changed. I spent 43 years in law enforcement promoting from dispatcher to Captain and obtaining a Masters degree. 
I now have a daughter in graduate school who faces the same challenges.  My interest in being on the Chaffey Board is to help other students achieve that life changing experience. like I did.
When I’m not at Chaffey, I sit on the boards of: Rotary, Travelers Aid, West End Family Counseling, LEO, The Price Foundation, and The Police Museum    I believe my community background, my experience on the Chaffey Foundation Board and the eight years on the governing board make me a good candidate.  What I have to offer is a strong knowledge of Human Resources, safety issues and the law.  I’m most proud of participating in the addition of Criminal Justice, Corrections and Fire Science Degrees along with classes on School Safety.
Chaffey is a well run institution with extraordinary faculty and staff.  The current board works well together and has many challenges ahead: doing more with less; finding room for 22,000 students (and their cars), serving the student community and the community surrounding Chaffey.
My commitment is to provide quality service while keeping costs minimal.  We need to continue being vigilant in expenditures from the Bond fund and find new ways to partner with the community.  The Chaffey Board needs to continue working as a team to assure that every dream is fulfilled.
Katie Roberts