Friday, June 24, 2011

(San Mateo) College district responds to grand jury

June 21, 2011, 02:37 AM Daily Journal Staff Report

On Wednesday, the San Mateo County Community College District Board of Trustees will OK an official response to the grand jury which found using voter-approved bond funds to open an athletic club was an appropriate use of the money.

Earlier this month, the San Mateo County Civil Grand Jury released a five-page report questioning the use of Measure A funds, a $468 million bond measure approved in 2005. Specifically, the report addressed whether the ballot language allowed for building the San Mateo Athletic Club at the College of San Mateo. The report noted concerns from local business owners about using tax dollars to create an on-campus business. Ultimately, the grand jury found “that operating a private athletic club on campus was consistent with other college district enterprise activities, and that the private use of public facilities on a fee basis is a widespread and generally accepted practice in San Mateo County.”

The report also found the bond language to be vague, allowing for broad interpretation. In addition, it found the district needed clearer communication about the use of funds before approved projects. The report also came with a handful of recommendations which the board’s draft response addresses.

In the proposed response for the board, the district agrees clear communication is necessary and believes it has met this requirement through regular updates at meetings of the Board of Trustees and oversight committee along with published updates on its website. In addition, the board agrees timely reports should be released adding annual reports are made public normally around January. A detailed report and specific list of remaining projects are also available online. Lastly, the draft calls for the district to identify the oversight committee members by their term and affiliation in the meeting minutes by the Aug. 4 meeting.

The board meets 6 p.m. Wednesday, June 22 at the District Office Board Room, 3401 CSM Drive, San Mateo.

No comments: