In a June 15, 2023 COD Board meeting, in what was an obvious attempt to delay the development of the West Valley Campus, Trustee Bea Gonzalez voted NO on a routine funding measure. This campus has faced numerous delay’s over the past 3 years over what can only be seen as political ploys perpetrated in order to divert funds to “pet projects”, none of which are located in the West Valley. This is especially unfair and suspect considering a West Valley Campus was approved in 2005 and funding promised in a 2016 Bond Measure.
With the election of Dr. Joel Kinnamon as Trustee to the Board in December of 2022 and the appointment of Trustee Ron Oden to succeed Retiring Trustee Fred Jandt there have been multiple 3-2 Board votes in favor of moving forward with the West Valley Campus plans for design and construction costs. If there are no more delays it is anticipated that the campus will open in 2026.
With one exception since realizing her anti West Valley Campus position was in the minority, Trustee Bea Gonzalez has voted NO at every opportunity she could to delay the project. Many times using reasons that didn’t make any logical sense. She is also on the record saying the West Valley Campus is too big and will never be fully utilized while in the same breath lamenting that the Mecca Campus needs more funding when it’s current enrollment is five students. (As an aside, underutilization was predicted for the original Indio campus which was completed in 2014 and was above the student capacities the day it opened.)
Trustee Gonzalez has made unsubstantiated claims that bond funds are being diverted from other approved construction projects. When staff and consultants made it clear that no other approved projects had lost funds she continued to insist that their statements were inaccurate. When in reality every construction project approved by the Board is still moving full-steam ahead. Even though Trustee Gonzalez has utilized every trick possible to stop the process and more importantly chosen to abandon the students that live or work in the West Valley, this all important and vitally needed Campus will be built and will serve 1,000’s of students. .
Trustee Bea Gonzalez made herself abundantly clear in her self-serving and outrageous statement as she cast the lone vote to delay the funding for development of the West Valley Campus. She said, “We’re hoping if you build it, they will come, but if they don’t, then you know, for me, it’s going to be good because the record will show that I was responsible and I voted responsibly, but (that’s) neither here nor there. Like I said, majority rules, and I stand where I stand.”
Shame on her!
We need your help to move the Campus forward. Please contact Trustee Gonzalez and tell her to stop obstructing our forward momentum and build our campus! She can be reached at: email@example.com or call her office at 760-773-2500.