January 9, 2017

Trustee Laura Casas was nominated for a three year term on the California Community College Trustees Board.  They will deal with immigration among other things. 

FHDA Trustees approved $35,930 for a study to upgrade the district wide Blue Light Emergency phones.  New phones with a public address system could cost up to $1 million.

The Board approved an additional $390,802 for Flint Parking Center renovation, due to more rust than expected in the steel framework. 

December 12, 2016

Chancellor Judy Minor welcomed two new Board Members elected last November:  long time community college administrator Peter Landsberger plus former Cupertino City Council member and mayor Gilbert Wong.  Laura Casas was re-elected and became the new board president  Trustee holdovers include new vice president Bruce Swenson, Pearl Cheng, plus students Courtney Cooper and Elias Kamal.  Casas appointed Swenson (chair) and Cheng to the Audit and Finance Committee.

The Board added new courses at Foothill in chemistry, English, horticulture, pharmacy technology, and sociology, and at De Anza in accounting, anthropology, film & TV, intercultural studies, Korean, psychology, sociology, and women’s studies.  The Trustees also approved two dozen fee-based (no taxpayer money) not-for-credit short courses on astronomy, music, investing, e-bay, driver education, fashion design, bocce ball, and mindful life planning.

November 7, 2016

Betsy Bechtel leaves the Board after 13 years, and Joan Barram leaves after almost eight years.  The Trustees gave Verde Designs a $92,450 contract to design a synthetic turf field to replace the grass soccer field at Foothill.  Cost to build is unknown, but artificial turf lasts ten years and grass costs up to $100,000 per year to maintain.

John Sheldon of Morgan Stanley presented information regarding the general obligation fund issuance (Measure C) and refinancing approved by trustees at the September 12, 2016, meeting. He advised that the district was able to save taxpayers approximately $1.4 million per year through the refinancing.

Refinancing on the $30 million earthquake upgrade of De Anza’s Flint Center garage will save $1.3 million annually. 

The Trustees accepted a bid of $18 million from Alten Construction to build the new district offices.

October 3, 2016

The Board gave the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority a 30-year easement to extend the bus “duck out” on Stelling Rd. near Stevens Creek Blvd. to support rapid transit buses running every 10 minutes to the Berryessa BART Station.

De Anza President Brian Murphy reported large reductions in student quarterly textbook costs:

$200,000 from using free or open source material in almost 70 courses, $250,000 from the bookstore’s rental program, $150,000 from a one-day 10% discount.  He said enrollment is down 5% from a year ago.  Chancellor Judy Minor said enrollment is up from 1,000 to 2,000 at the new Sunnyvale campus.

—Terry Terman, Observer