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Pasadena City College incumbents prosper

Three familiar faces crush their challengers in PCC board races.

November 10, 2011|By Bill Kisliuk, bill.kisliuk@latimes.com

Incumbents breezed to victory in all three contested races for seats on the Pasadena City College Board of Trustees Tuesday night.

Former Pasadena Mayor William Thomson, who will serve his second term on the board, outpaced political activist M.A.C. Enriquez-Marquez 85% to 15%. Longtime PCC board members Jeanette Mann and John Martin enjoyed roughly 2-1 margins of victory over their respective rivals, Altadena conservative Brian Fuller and Los Angeles City College instructor Chris Cofer.

Mann, representing north and east Pasadena as well as Altadena, will serve her eighth four-year term on the board. Martin, representing El Monte and part of Temple City, has been on the board for 32 years and will serve his ninth term.

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Mann said it is a challenging time for community colleges, with state budget cuts hitting the schools hard. But she said PCC's early retirement program this year resulted in 87 people leaving the payroll early for a savings of more than $2 million, which will help the school weather further cuts that may be imposed in January.

Thomson, whose district includes much of Pasadena, said the school cannot count on Sacramento to provide all the funding it needs. He hopes to see the college partner with local business to provide programs that will help students and the local economy. For example, he said, Pasadena Water & Power has many employees nearing retirement, and there will be openings for people with the right training.

Thomson also said the Pasadena City College Foundation, which has raised substantial sums for the college's arts facilities and for other purposes, must play an even bigger role.

“They've done a great job,” he said. “We're going to need to have PCCF gear up even more.”

Editor's Note: This story has been updated from a previous version.

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