City College Of San Francisco Trustees Skip Meetings, Still Get Paid

The City College of San Francisco is violating state law by paying trustees who regularly skip meetings.

Records show there were only five meetings in which all Board of Trustees members were in attendance, the San Francisco Chronicle reported. On several occasions, the body barely made the quorum it needs to hold votes.

The Board of Trustees are paid $500 per month whether they attend meetings or not, as they oversee a $400 million budget and set policies for nine campuses.

Over the past year and a half, seven members of the elected board have been absent a total of 31 times.

"It's gotten to the point where the chancellor has his assistants call us up before every meeting to make sure board members are coming to the one meeting we have per month," Trustee Steve Ngo said.

Steven Bruckman, executive vice chancellor of legal affairs for the California Community College Chancellor's office, told the Chronicle they are violating the law by paying trustees for unexcused absences.

"Ed code provides payment for meetings they actually attend," Bruckman said.

There have been no resolutions, since at least 2007, to excuse trustees who were absent.

"It's never come up or been brought to our attention," Board President John Rizzo, who hasn't missed meetings, told the Chronicle. "We certainly have some qualms about people missing meetings."

The Board is currently eying a $4.4 million cut, with a forecast that California community colleges can expect $149 million in cuts due to state budget cuts. Already enrolled classes in the spring semester were cut at the last minute, and the college is bracing for a fresh round of lay offs and deductions in pay to make up for the budget shortfalls.