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COC’s governing board anticipates openings

Santa Clarita Community College District might have two vacancies in upcoming election

Posted: July 10, 2009 9:41 p.m.
Updated: July 11, 2009 4:55 a.m.
A permanent job in Washington, D.C., could mean Ernie Tichenor, Santa Clarita Community College District trustee, might not seek re-election in November.

"I'm going to pull papers, but at this time, I've not made a decision as to whether I'm going to run again," Tichenor said this week.
If Tichenor withdraws, it would put his seat and Joan MacGregor's up for grabs in the Nov. 3 election.

MacGregor, who is board of trustees president, said she intends to file papers for her candidacy Monday, the first day candidates can declare an intent to run with the Los Angeles County Registrar's Office.

"I enjoy serving and I feel I can give back to the community by serving as a trustee," MacGregor said Friday.

Tichenor took a job with the U.S. Treasury Department in December. Along with flying across the country, the job requires him to travel to other cities.

"I took a position with the federal government that may or may not become permanent, and so what I'm doing is really kind of going back and forth," Tichenor said.

He's missed half of the 14 Santa Clarita Community College District meetings since January.

Tichenor was absent from the Feb. 25, March 11, March 25, April 22, May 12, June 10 and July 8 meetings, according to board minutes.

He anticipates missing the Aug. 12 meeting but plans to attend the Aug. 26 meeting, he said.

State code requires board members to attend at least one meeting every month.

"He's been to at least one meeting every month in the last year," said College of the Canyons spokeswoman Sue Bozman.

The only time he missed both meetings in a month was March because of medical reasons, Bozman said.

"He's missed some meetings, but he's way in compliance," she said.

Tichenor, who still lives in Santa Clarita, considers himself to be an effective board member.

"I think that I can still be of service to the college at this point," he said.

Tichenor, a board member since 1997, talks with Chancellor Dianne Van Hook frequently and poses questions about the agenda and college issues before the meetings, he said.

"I feel like I'm still pretty in touch with what's going on," he said.

Still, Tichenor said he will evaluate his options in the coming weeks.

"If I feel that it's not as effective, or this (Treasury Department) position becomes a permanent position, then I'm going to have to make the decision as to what I'm going to do," he said.

"I'm giving myself some time to think about it."

MacGregor is serving her fourth term for the Santa Clarita Community College District, which oversees College of the Canyons.

MacGregor said she has the experienced leadership to help direct the community college and administration as it navigates through budget cuts and a difficult economic time.

She hopes to continue her involvement with the college as it prepares to open its University Center in the fall.

"I want to see it in operation," she said. "I think it will be exciting to see that new building."

MacGregor considers the completion of the College of the Canyons Canyon Country campus another priority.

"I want to see the first new permanent building at Canyon Country. That is my focus," she said. "I fought very hard for the Canyon Country campus."

A Canyon Country resident, MacGregor was first elected to the Santa Clarita Community College District in 1993. Before that she was a five-term board member for the Sulphur Springs School District.

The remaining three seats are occupied by Scott Wilk, Michele Jenkins and Bruce Fortine.


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