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June 28, 2022

Gavilan to establish bond committee

GILROY
–– Gavilan College and a community advocacy group and are
readying for the March 2 election, in which voters will decide
whether to approve the college’s $108-million bond.
Gavilan’s board of trustees decided Tuesday night to establish a
bond oversight committee in order to hit the ground running should
voters approve Measure E, which would provide funds for upgrading
the 35-year-old campus and expanding facilities at all three
Gavilan sites.
GILROY –– Gavilan College and a community advocacy group and are readying for the March 2 election, in which voters will decide whether to approve the college’s $108-million bond.

Gavilan’s board of trustees decided Tuesday night to establish a bond oversight committee in order to hit the ground running should voters approve Measure E, which would provide funds for upgrading the 35-year-old campus and expanding facilities at all three Gavilan sites.

“It’s good to solicit the applications so you do have an applicant pool from which to pull from, should the bond be approved,” college President Steve Kinsella said. “We clearly want public input.”

Trustees discussed the option of creating the committee, which is required by law once the bond is passed, during a December meeting and decided to vote on the issue after hearing from its bond consultant, the Lew Edwards Group.

“Some (districts) have set them up during the election because they want the community to see what’s going on,” Kinsella told trustees Dec. 9.

Establishing an oversight group before the bond is passed is a way of demonstrating dedication to public transparency, said Sarahjane Sacchetti, an associate with Lew Edwards Group.

“I think it shows that … the college has worked hard to include community members in the process, so the bond responds to community members and not just what the college needs,” she said. “It shows that the community members are who the college is working for.”

Applications for the oversight committee will be available through the college within a few weeks, Kinsella said.

The committee will consist of at least seven members from different community stakeholder groups, including businesses, senior citizens‚ groups, taxpayer’s groups and a student involved in a campus group.

“The oversight committee is there to basically ensure that there’s fiscal accountability with all Measure E funding when it’s passed,” Sacchetti said.

Measure E, as approved unanimously by Gavilan board trustees in November, will cost about $15 per each $100,000 of assessed property value each year, according to Gavilan estimates.

Until the March 2 vote, the committee would review the project list and become familiar with it.

A Yes on Measure E advocacy group has also mobilized, with the help of the Lew Edwards Group.

“The campaign has basically kicked off and has been hard at work at getting community members out throughout the district,” Sacchetti said.

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