It's new blood vs. familiar face in Yuba College race
OCCUPATION: Retired Yuba College professor.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Member of Rideout Foundation Board, Yuba College Foundation board of directors, former member of the Juvenile Justice Commission, former secretary of the Alta Chapter of the Military Officers Association of America.
QUOTE: "I'd like to go back to the way it was before, where we could take all students and get everybody into vocational jobs and career technical training and get enough education to go on to a four-year university."
OCCUPATION: General contractor and owner of New Adventures Preschool.
POLITICAL EXPERIENCE: Former member/treasurer of Yuba Sutter Regional Arts Council, former member of United Way allocations committee in Napa-Solano.
QUOTE: "I saw a need I think to get some new blood and different ideas for leadership at Yuba College ... Mr. Buchan has run unopposed several times and I think you've got to have choices."
Retired Yuba College professor and longtime board member Jim Buchan has one challenger as he vies for re-election to what would be his fifth term: Yuba City contractor Michael Pasquale.
The two men are both running for election to represent Area 4, which includes the portion of Sutter County also occupied by Yuba City Unified School District, on the seven-trustee Yuba Community College District Board. Brent Hastey is running unopposed to represent Area 2, which represents the Yuba County area including Marysville Joint Unified, Xavier Tafoya is running unopposed for re-election in Yolo and Colusa counties and Richard Savarese is running for election in Lake, Colusa and Glenn counties.
Pasquale, who also owns New Adventures Preschool, has not held elected office but has served for many years as treasurer of the Yuba Sutter Regional Arts Council and was once on the allocations committee for the United Way of Napa-Solano. He also volunteers his time as a Special Olympics tennis official and is an activity sponsor for Relay for Life.
While he has great respect for his opponent, Buchan has run unopposed in prior years and Pasquale thinks voters need choices.
"I saw a need to get some new blood and different ideas for leadership at Yuba College," he said.
Buchan was first elected to the college board to a two-year term in 1998 and was re-elected to four-year terms in 2000, 2004, and 2008. Also a retired US Army Reserve colonel, he has served as board chair twice and been the board's liaison to the Yuba College Foundation board of directors for eight years.
He is also a Yuba City Rotary club member, chairs the seventh-grade boys career fair at the college, is a member of the Fremont-Rideout Foundation Board and president of the Feather River YMCA board of directors and has been secretary of Yuba-Sutter Every 15 Minutes program for 14 years. He spent 30 years as a track and cross country official for the college spent 10 years volunteering at the Bridge Street Elementary school health clinic.
The board has undergone improvements in recent years, Buchan said, and he hopes if re-elected he can help find a solution to the financial burden placed on the district from a high-interest bond sale approved by himself and other trustees last year. He would also like to see the college be more accessible to more people, as it once was.
That said, the college will be faced with a real challenge if the tax measures are not approved by voters in November, Buchan said.
"It's going to hurt our students," he said. "We have to have income to handle the students and it's a real shame the ones who are getting hurt are the ones who are getting out of high school."
Pasquale, who earned his banking and finance degree from Yuba College after getting a bachelor's degree from Chico state, said that if elected, the college's accreditation may be the most important task at hand. He would also like to address dilapidated facilities at the Linda campus and bring more accountability to the board.