By Crystal Adams-King & Cristian Rivera/ Contributing writers

Long Beach City College’s Board of Trustees and City Council Members deliberated over key issues regarding the upcoming President’s forums, the next Superintendent-President, the positive impact of Major Declaration Day and approved items that may affect future students during the open session meeting conducted Tuesday, Oct. 18 on the LAC campus.

The Board sought advisement from the The Association of Community College Trustees, a search firm aiding in the search process of a new presidential candidate for the college. ACCT recommended that the board members not attend any of the 3 Presidential Search Forums as faculty and staff may feel they are unable to freely express themselves with Trustee members present.

The first forum is designated for full and part-time faculty, the second is for other staff members and the third is for the public which includes students and the community.

Board members Vivian Malauulu, Douglas Otto and Sunny Zia disagreed with the recommendation believing the community would have no problem expressing their concerns and critiques of the board member’s and their experiences at LBCC.

“Having been very involved with the last search process, I don’t think people were intimidated by the presence of Trustees,” Otto said.

Jeff Kellogg, the Vice President of the Board, urged for clarity among the City Council members regarding the acceptance to the Board members presence at the forums, “I know there’s no vote but we’re leaving it very much in the air,” he said.

Vivian Malauulu, the newest member on the board, stood firmly in her decision, “I will be in attendance in at least one of those forums,” she said

After the meeting Alejandro Lomeli, the Student Trustee and representative on the Presidential Search committee, commented on the subject, “These forums should be as constructive as possible. I think the Trustees should only attend the public forum so that the faculty and staff can freely speak on both their positive and negative experiences thus far at the college,” he said.

The search for LBCC’ s next Superintendent President is a process than has already began and is planning to end March 2017. The process will be led by a search committee of 22 members from different community groups and partners, as well as internal key holders and student representatives to ensure diversity. The committee will be responsible for recommending 3-5 qualified candidates to the Board of Trustees through a fair and impartial search.

In addition to the Superintendent Presidential search, the ratification of Proposition 55 was also discussed and passed during Tuesday’s meeting. The approval secured the support of the Long Beach City College District for the passage of the prop. According to LBCC’ s Resolution of Prop. 55 Initiative,

“Proposition 55 would extend Proposition 30’s temporary income tax rates for an additional 12 years, to continue funding the Education Protection Account.”

In addition to outlining the support of Prop. 55, the Initiative listed the benefits the college has acknowledged due to the passage of Prop. 30 in 2012, “Long Beach Community College District received $17.2 million in Proposition 30 revenue, demonstrating the scale of support the Education Protection fund has on Long Beach City College operations.”

The Board was presented with positive feedback and statistics from the first Major Declaration Day last year by Nohel Corral, the dean of Counseling and Support Services and Lauren Sosenko the Director of Institutional Research. According to the presentation, “In fall 2015, a total of 606 LBCC students participated in Major Declaration Day.”

Additionally, this fall 792 undeclared students have met with academic counselors and have created a Student Education Plan.

The City Council members also approved a new policy detailing LBCC’ s definitions, investigative processes and sanctions regarding sexual misconduct.