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March 16, 2009

SCC Bond Update, CBOC March 2009

The Solano Community College District has undergone public scrutiny recently as a result of the findings of the EdMAC Report and the "show cause" sanction imposed by the Accrediting Commission of Community and Junior Colleges (ACCJC). One of the findings included in the EdMAC Report was the examination of the receipt, disbursement, and use of Measure G bond funds as there were concerns about some transactions. As a member and Chairperson of the Solano Community Collegeís Measure G Citizensí Bond Oversight Committee (CBOC) for the last two years, I and the Committee were troubled to learn about the findings and allegations that the District may have co-mingled District funds and bond funds inappropriately in the amount of a little over $1 million. While the CBOC is only an advisory body, it directed District staff to investigate the matter with the assistance of bond counsel and a financial review.

County voters passed Measure G in 2002 totaling $124.5 million that allowed for new construction and upgrades and renovations to the entire campus. One of the mandates of Proposition 39 is the establishment of a citizens' oversight committee charged with ensuring that all bond fund expenditures are appropriate and within the bondís ballot text. Annual financial audits are performed and the CBOC meets quarterly to review the projectís expenditures to ensure proceeds are expended only for the purposes noted in the ballot measure.

Based on a review by legal counsel, it was determined that the District had in fact made expenditures in keeping with the spirit and intent of the bond measure. Legal counsel presented his ruling that no impropriety took place relative to the $1 million transfer. In addition, all costs expensed to Measure G were deemed appropriate. The only caveat made was that from an accounting standpoint, the process should have been more clear and transparent, with the Governing Board and CBOC being informed of the transaction. Accounting authorities suggested that "expenditures" should have been transferred into the bond fund instead of the "revenue" being transferred out of the bond fund.

Given these revelations, the CBOC felt an obligation to inform the voters and taxpayers that the matter had been investigated and feel that appropriate steps have been taken by the College to not let the air of impropriety be injected into future transactions and that the money was expended according to the bond measure language presented to the voters in 2002.

Respectfully Submitted by:
Bruce DuClair, Chair, Measure G Citizensí Bond Oversight Committee

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