Anthony Guiterrez / Staff Writer
The results from the election are in, and voters have chosen Riverside Community College District Board of Trustees Candidate Mary Figueroa to serve for a fifth term and she will be joined by newly elected Nathan A. Miller from Corona.
Figueroa was first elected to the Board in 1995 and served as chair of every board committee and as president for three terms.
In the race for Trustee Area 3, which now covers parts of Riverside north of Arlington, Alessandro avenues and the east part of Jurupa Valley. 56-year-old Figueroa easily won with 24,147 votes (71 percent).
Her opponent Joe Ludwig, a 42-year-old customer care advocate also from Riverside, acquired only 10,060 votes (29 percent).
During her campaign, Figueroa argued her previous experience on the board would be valuable to a District battling through a dwindling budget caused by recent state tax cuts.
The budget however, might not be a main priority for the District much longer.
The passage of Proposition 30 has voters hopeful that California’s Community College system will now be able to restore thousands of classes, and Community Colleges will receive approximately $210 million in additional funding to serve about 20,000 more students.
The measure appears to have come just in time to help Districts throughout the state avoid another swarm of severe budget cuts, including more layoffs, reduced instructional time and larger classes.
In the race for Trustee Area 1, which covers Corona, Norco and Eastvale, Corona residents Nathan A. Miller and Louis Davis battled each other for a seat on the board.
Davis, a 53-year-old Southern California Edison region manager, fell short with only 11,505 votes (40 percent) while Miller, a 36-year-old business owner, acquired 17,111 votes (60 percent) on his way to victory.
Miller, a father of three with a bachelor’s degree in political science from Cal Poly Pomona is the only candidate that did not cite the budget as his main priority.
He did however list local control as his main reason for running and also as his solution to the District’s current budget problems.
“I know that everyone is pleased that Proposition 30 passed and they’re hopeful it will restore a little stability,” Miller said. “That remains to be seen; it has no mandate that it has to go to community college education.”
He said it will take some time until the Districts sees the affect of the proposition.
“It’s at the governor’s discretion how those funds are allocated,” Miller said. “I can’t tell how soon we may see benefits from it; we may not.”
His plan is to find ways to work with Sacramento so the District can have more control in how state funds are allocated.
“My goal is to pursue legislation and opportunities to work with Sacramento to allow for more autonomy for our college and colleges throughout the state,” he said.
Miller said he believes state regulations pertaining to the budget are restricting the District from re-cooperating.
“I think as long as Sacramento controls our spending we’re always going to be at their mercy, and one of the reasons why we have such difficulty in managing our budget is because it is constrained by what they will and won’t allow us to do in terms of managing it,” Miller said.
RCCD Chancellor Gregory Gray is also very confident with the results of this election in terms of helping the district move forward.
“I look forward to working with Ms. Figueroa and Mr. Miller in the years to come,” Gray said. “Results of this election and the passage of Proposition 30 have provided a foundation upon which we can build for the future.”