Endorsement: Rollston and Borges for college Board of Trustees
It hasn’t happened since 1989. Terms have expired for two members of the Lake Tahoe Community College Board of Trustees, and someone has stepped forward to challenge them in their re-election bids. Board members often run unopposed, meaning there’s no election or campaigning.
The challenge by chiropractor Karen Borges to incumbents Frederick “Fritz” Wenck and Kenneth Rollston creates an opportunity for the community to look more closely at the college and its issues.
And the college has seen its share of turmoil. In June 2006, the Academic Senate, in a 23-12 vote, passed a resolution that questioned the leadership of President Guy Lease. The resolution followed talk of laying off the college’s physics instructor because of budget shortfalls, thus eliminating the physics program. The instructor resigned.
On the brighter side, however, enrollment is up this year at the college, reaching the second-highest fall enrollment in the college’s history after several years of decline. Online classes are growing in popularity, and a new library opened to the community last year.
A major issue facing the college is finding a new president — Guy Lease has announced he will retire at the end of this school year after 17 years as president.
The incumbents argue that they have the experience needed to bring in a high-quality successor for Lease. In fact, a fourth candidate, William M. Burns, dropped out of the race over concerns that having new board members would discourage good candidates from applying for the president’s post.
On the other hand, Borges is an energetic person who has had a longtime involvement in the community. She has been taking classes at the college since 1989. She said she has cleared off other commitments to make room for serving on the college board.
While we appreciate experience on the Board of Trustees, we feel that after members have served for 33 years (25 in the case of Rollston), it is time for a fresh perspective. Our endorsement goes to Borges and Rollston.