Once again, the Grossmont-Cuyamaca Community College District’s Proposition V bond program has received a perfect score for its transparency in providing information to the public.
The East County college district received an A+ perfect rating by the San Diego County Taxpayers Educational Foundation, which evaluated 23 school and college districts that have active bond programs. Eleven other districts also received clean scores.
The foundation praised the college district as one that is providing “proper and timely dissemination of information” and urged other school districts starting new bond programs to look to Grossmont-Cuyamaca’s model for transparency.
The foundation’s review of the district’s Proposition R and V website found that it provided key information to the public such as annual reports, oversight committee agendas and information, a project list, and project descriptions and progress updates. Financial information such as a budget overview, itemized project expenditures, and audit reports were also available, the study determined.
“We’re keenly aware of our responsibility to demonstrate to the community that we are spending taxpayer money wisely,” said Sue Rearic, the district’s vice chancellor of business services. “This positive review reflects our commitment and accountability to the public about the transformative projects underway at our campuses.”
Proposition V, a $398 million bond measure, was approved by East County voters in 2012. Bond funds have enabled the district to continue the work on the college campuses that began after the 2002 passage of Prop. R, which resulted in the construction or renovation of 13 major facilities.
The major projects being built with Prop. V funds include a new Grossmont College Performing and Visual Arts Center, including a 390-seat theater, which is set to open in early 2020. A groundbreaking was held last month for a renovated Ornamental Horticulture complex at Cuyamaca College, with new classrooms and greenhouses, set to be completed in fall 2020.
Other major projects include a new Science, Math and Career Technology Complex at Grossmont College and a new Student Services and Administration Building at Cuyamaca College.
The district’s bond spending is monitored by the Citizens’ Bond Oversight Committee, which was established to assure accountability for use of public funds. The committee members are East County residents who have expertise in construction-related fields such as architecture, construction management, and accounting, as well as representatives of businesses, student and taxpayer organizations.
The taxpayer foundation’s transparency findings mirror reviews of the district’s finances by independent auditors, who have given the highest opinion possible of the district’s fiscal practices for the past 15 years.