Cerritos College to make changes to trustee election system
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:October 5, 2011
NORWALK, Calif. - October 5, 2011 - The Cerritos Community College District is in the process of changing its trustee election system from "at large" to "by-trustee area" elections.
The Board of Trustees voted at their regular meeting tonight (10/05/11) to adopt a resolution to make this change.
In the proposed by-trustee area electoral system, trustees must live in trustee areas and are elected by the voters of those trustee areas. Currently, the seven trustee seats are elected at large.
The Board will now petition the County Committee on School District Organization to change the District's electoral system. Upon approval, the proposed change of electoral system is typically subject to approval by the District's voters; however, the District has the option to seek a waiver of the electoral requirement thus saving the district the cost of mounting an election.
Currently there is legislation (AB 684) awaiting the Governor's signature that would streamline the entire process by allowing the change to be made only with the approval of the Board of Governors of the California Community Colleges. If AB 684 becomes law, the District will take advantage of the streamlined process.
The Board will then hold public hearings at subsequent board meetings to review and consider possible trustee area plans to submit to the County Committee or Board of Governors for adoption, and anticipates finally adopting a plan on December 7, 2011.
After the Board began to change the trustee elections required under the California Voter Rights Act (CVRA), a lawsuit has been filed by a former trustee, a former employee and a Downey resident demanding the College District take the action it had already begun.
Because the District had already taken appropriate actions on the issue, the District is demanding that the lawsuit be withdrawn to avoid unnecessary costs to the college and taxpayers.
Timeline of the election issue and other pertinent information is available here
The College's September 29 statement regarding the lawsuit is available here
Cerritos College serves as a comprehensive community college for southeastern Los Angeles County. Communities within the college's district include Artesia, Bellflower, Cerritos, Downey, Hawaiian Gardens, La Mirada, Norwalk, and portions of Bell Gardens, Lakewood, Long Beach, Santa Fe Springs and South Gate. Cerritos College offers degrees and certificates in more than 180 areas of study in nine divisions. Annually, more than 1,200 students successfully complete their course of studies, and enrollment currently averages 23,000 students. Visit Cerritos College online at http://www.cerritos.edu/.