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GCC budget still tight

Spending cuts will be a priority for the incoming president/superintendent.

May 11, 2013|By Kelly Corrigan, kelly.corrigan@latimes.com

This post has been corrected. See below for details. 

Glendale Community College officials on Friday announced that roughly 100 empty positions that have remained unfilled now for three years will remain so for another.

Officials at the meeting on Friday did not go into details on how much spending will need to be cut from the 2013-14 budget plan — that will come later this month — but holding the vacancies over for another year is a clear indication that the college is still in belt-tightening mode.

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Spending reductions will be the name of the game for the college's incoming president/superintendent, David Viar, who slated to come on board in July.

When Viar takes the helm this summer, he will step onto a college that has seen extensive class reductions in recent years.

When his full-time predecessor, Dawn Lindsay, departed in 2012, interim President/Supt. Jim Riggs committed to serving the college for one year.

At a special board meeting Friday, trustee Anita Gabrielian applauded Riggs for his year-long management.

"You were not just babysitting," she said. "This is progress."

When Riggs entered the scene in summer of 2012, the college was bracing for a potential budget slash of $8 million.

The passage of Gov. Jerry Brown's Proposition 30 in November brought some relief, but the college still had to cope with 5,000 students on waitlists for classes and a $4-million deficit.

One controversial cut to save about $500,000 reduced work hours for 98 employees. And most recently, the college chose to cut funding for its cheer program to save $25,000.

In the months ahead, as Glendale Community College works to grow its reserves, officials say they will explore new healthcare options to reduce costs.

There are other goals officials plan to tackle in the coming months.

The college's police chief, Gary Montecuollo, is leading an effort to create a new emergency planning document, an update the college hasn't done for more than 10 years, he said.

A new diversity taskforce will be led by Donna Voogt, administrative dean of human resources, to expand inclusiveness among administrators, faculty and staff.

As Riggs prepares to hand the baton to Viar, he encouraged the trustees to "let the president be the president."

"There are still a number of changes that have to occur," he said. "Change is never easy. Allow the president to come in and go through the difficult changes and really continue to ride the ship of GCC," he urged. 

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Follow Kelly Corrigan on Twitter: @kellymcorrigan.

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FOR THE RECORD: An earlier version of this story incorrectly stated the number of years it has been since the GCC has updated its emergency planning document. It has been more than 10. 

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