SMC Trustee Members Nancy Greenstein, Louise Jaffe, and Chair Barry Snell Plan on Running for Re-election

Several members of the Santa Monica College board of trustees will be looking to secure their position once more in the November elections. Though the elections are months away, the current board members running for re-election say that the upcoming issues at the college will require people with experience to handle them.

For trustee Dr. Nancy Greenstein, who has been on the board since 2002, one of the biggest issues will be the budget. With a change in the funding formula that was proposed in January by the Governor’s office, the school could potentially face up to a $12 million loss for the 2018-2019 school year. 

The proposed change will potentially affect how much money the state gives colleges based on the number of full-time students. “We’re going to have to really try to look at approaches to bring in more students and do that by offering courses, classes, certificates, that might be more attractive to people out there who haven’t thought about coming to community college,” Greenstein said.

Greenstein’s view on the school adding more courses was shared by the other board members, as the latest board meeting on Tuesday, May 1 had the board pass a request by the Academic Affairs department to add several new courses. In the action item, over 15 nursing classes, new math classes, a Cultural Resource Management Department certificate and an Administration of Justice Associate in Science for transfer are planned to be included for the 2018 fall semester.

Another incumbent trustee, Dr. Louise Jaffe, has been sitting on the board since 2006 and echoed Greenstein’s concern over the budget. Looking forward to the upcoming election, Jaffe sees that there is a lot that can be done for the school. “I’ve had leadership positions in the state, and I’ve just felt that those relationships and that access and that knowledge continue to be beneficial to the college,” Jaffe said.

Both Jaffe and Greenstein talked about how they will run a serious campaign, not letting their incumbency make them complacent. “For both of us, we don’t take running lightly, we think about what our contribution as board members is," Greenstein said. "If we are still valuable, we talk to members of the community, and that’s part of what made our decision [of running again]."

The current Chair, Barry Snell, has been serving since 2014 and also plans to run again. Snell states that keeping enrollment high, watching the cost of current projects and maintenance of buildings will be important to look out for. “You’re going to see me again, I’m going to run hard and hopefully win,” Snell said. “One of my personal items I’d like to start talking about is possible housing for students, I think it’s something we need to start taking a look at.”

Dr. Andrew Walzer, having started in 2006 will also be up for re-election, but was unavailable for comment on whether he would be running again.

Elections will start on November 6, with August 10 being the last day to submit nominations.

The board of trustees are made up of seven city-elected members and an eighth student trustee voted in by other students. After Chase Matthews, the current student trustee, attended his final board of trustees meeting this past Tuesday, student trustee-elect Charlene Alex Boyd will join the board for the 2018-2019 school year.