The May 11 meeting of the Associated Students of Las Positas College was a whirlwind of emotions.
At the meeting, President Kevin Walthers approached the ASLPC to explain the district’s budget issue and how it would affect them.
Walthers explained that, even with tax plans passing in November, the school will need to lose positions and already plans not to hire a new Dean of Student Services.
Walthers presented ASLPC with the need for them to pay for some of Sheri Moore’s, Staff Assistant for Student Services salary. Annually she makes an estimated $24,000. The President said that if ASLPC did not approve to help with her salary it did “not necessarily” mean she would be gone, but later in the meeting ASLPC President Amir Salehzadeh made it clear that she would be dismissed.
“He was sugar coating it because she will be cut” Salehzadeh said.
Originally set as up-to $24,000, ASLPC decided to set a price for covering Moore’s salary to $12,500.
Salehzadeh explained that if ASLPC could come up with $12,000 Walthers had agreed in a previous meeting to find a way for to cover the other $12,000.
“While I understand how essential Sheri is,” Javier Pinedo, Student Senator said, “$12,000 is a lot of money to be asking from us and especially since the money should be going toward students. I don’t know if I can support $12,000.”
The main issue in the debate was about setting a precedent for the coming years and that ASLPC could be stepping onto a slippery slope.
“I am very emotional about this, so this is a huge decision you need to make and I don’t want you to make it lightly because this is going to
set a precedent,” Director of Student Life Cynthia Ross said.
ASLPC’s projected budget includes a $140,000 spending budget
They will now have to re-evaluate the budget which could include
less club days or ASLPC going to less conferences, as proposed during the meetings debate.
“I don’t understand why we wouldn’t do this,” Breanna Krummins, ASLPC’s Director of Communications said.
“So we don’t get to go to a conference in the fall or we only have one club day, these are sacrifices I am willing to make.”
An issue that arose if Moore was to lose her job would be what about a successor for when Ross leaves.
“I am having a hard time find- ing a faculty member and without an assistant I can’t imagine (any- one would want my position),” said Ross.
Moore gave a letter to Salehzadeh prior to the May 11 meeting which he read aloud before the vote. A somber feeling draped over the meeting.
Ross became overcome and had to step outside at one point.
“Ask yourself ” said Moore’s letter, “if we use student funds to pay (my) salary do we get our moneys worth?”
After much deliberation the body voted to approve committing to spend $12,500 on Moore’s salary out of the $150,000 projected budget of ASLPC.
Much of ASLPC’s budget comes from student fees and the LPC foundation.
Nearly the whole body agreed
to the deal with only one abstention.
Though ASLPC made the decision to help with Moore’s salary, if her salary needs help again next year the new ASLPC will have to vote again for approval.
“We are not approving $12,000 indefinitely” Salehzadeh said, “we are just approving to keep her around next year.”
Even with the approval there is still a chance for Moore’s position will be cut with budget issues up- in-the air until November elections.
ASLPC will vote again over summer if there is a need for them to cover more of Moore’s salary.