Baldwin for Cuesta College

October 19, 2012

Marilyne Cleeves


The Cuesta College Board has consistently approved construction for more campus facilities and buy-out contracts from unsatisfactory administrators. In order to pay the loans for these approvals, the administration is proposing cuts to programs, employee compensation, and positions. We ask, why is this current Board approving new full-time faculty hires and in the same breath asking the instructors to take a salary cut?

It is important for us to avoid letting this Board continue to make these errors. David Baldwin, current Board candidate, is an active community member who serves on two employee pension trustee boards. He has taken the time to attend trustee training courses that teach how to maintain an objective focus. Part of his platform is to support the community vocational programs that meet the needs of the employers in the County.

Cuesta needs a Trustee who will take the time to investigate, listen, and make objective decisions. As part of his commitment to investigate and listen, David has committed to holding monthly office hours on campus.

David Baldwin is a Trustee who has a history of working to honor the fiduciary responsibilities of the Board. It is nice to have beautiful buildings; however, buildings that are empty due to program cuts are a waste of money, time and effort.

Marilyne Cleeves is a San Luis Obispo County resident and a Cuesta College Faculty Member since 1989.


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So let me understand this clearly, Ms Cleeves, because I am a little confused. You earn only 25% of your income from Cuesta, you have not had a raise in 5 years (common with gov’t workers throughout the state), your income is less than it was 10 years ago (most people in the private sector understand this), your insurance costs have gone up (hello, so has everyone’s who are lucky enough to have it, so what is your point, that private sector employee need to pay for yours as a paarttime employee), and lastly, you seem so unhappy with your employment I don’t understand why you are even there. Let me be clear here, CUESTA IS FAILING AND AT THIS POINT MOST OF US THINK IT SHOULD. I AM AN ALUMNI OF CUESTA AND WOULD NOT VOTE FOR ONE MORE PENNY TO BE GIVEN TO THIS SCHOOL. RENAME IT “CAL POLY EXTENSION” and give it to POLY! This school has failed because of mismanagement and overpayments and we can no longer afford such failures. Let it sink!

As an example of overpayment, Gil Stork, the current president, retired from full-time service as Vice President, Student Services on June 30, 2004. Then, as a retiree he served in the Spring 2005 thru Spring 2009 semesters, as Interim Dean of Humanities, and then in the Fall 2009 semester, as Interim Dean of Workforce and Economic Development. In 2010 he was selected as the Superintendent/President on an interim basis all the while drawing his pension. I like Gil, he is really a nice guy, BUT, after 44 years and all this pension spiking, enough already.

The focus of a Community College should be to serve the needs of the community. Cuesta provides a very valuable service to numerous community members that cannot afford to go to Cal Poly.

Mr. Baldwin is not an institutional long-time insider; he will prove to be an innovated voice with an indispensable external perspective.

The mismanagement is the problem. This is why I support someone that will take the time to research the issues and listen to the concerns of people that are working with these managers on a daily basis.

Keep fooling yourself, because you are not fooling us! UNIONS UNIONS UNIONS, the evil destruction for California in the 21st Century…

“Mismanagement” may be A problem, but it is not THE problem.

“Monopoly privileges is the problem.”

Get the government out of the education business and then you will have what is called a “market.” NO industry can function normally without a market. It goes without saying that that market has to be FREE, just as you are free to act, produce, buy, and sell what you please, in order for it to flourish and please its customers and compete in a market with tough competition.

Surely you will not argue here that Cuesta College is flourishing, will you?

Obviously, since Cuesta College is run by government, it is NOT thus free to act, produce, buy, and sell services or make improvements in whatever ways make the most economic sense. This is because it is hemmed in by all sorts of rules and regulations imposed by government, the fact of which means that the processes of the free market are sabotaged.

The best thing for Cuesta College to do is to sell off its assets, lock, stock, and barrel to the highest bidder. No more taxes to run the college. If the buyer wants to open a new, private junior college, so be it. But he will incur all the risks and reap all the rewards that come with that freedom. It will not be up to the taxpayers, “bond issues,” “bailouts,” etc., to keep Cuesta going.

As for yourself, you will do much better in a FREE MARKET. Resisting “creative destruction” will only take you down a fruitless path that you will have to retrace anyway. Why not stand up for the right path to begin with? You will be so much farther ahead.

Christ, what a nauseating subject. The people who never left school (teachers and admin’s) who are there to prepare you for the future are the same people who couldn’t do the very same thing, leave school and find a job in the real world.

“Wah, wah! Mommy (gov;t. and Unions), tell the people out there working I need more of their money to keep me safe from what they have to do.”

At this point “higher” education provides one thing, a speedier headlong race into a dead planet, you know it and I know it.

Dig up that huge parking lot at Questa which is covering precious bottomland for growing. Turn that giant building complex into a clothes factory and prove what real progress looks like. It works for China.

While we were “rising to the top” with our degrees we created a vacuum at the “bottom” and look who got sucked in, the future owners of the country. So you see “education” didn’t build the country, it actually will destroy it.

Here, want an education? Man is a blight upon the Earth and through technology and “higher learning” he will speed up the total destruction of it.

What? I’m wrong? I wish.

I think that Ms. Cleeves should have introduced herself especially as being on the Board for the Cuesta College Federation of Teachers, Union No. 4909, there webmaster, and a big supporter of unions. Shame on you for your clever dishonesty, another Democrat Union deceitful act.

I support the current CCFT because I find my Colleagues to be a group of professionals that truly believe in the education and the students in this county. If this group of professionals had typical union tactics or managed in a way that you describe, I would not be any part of it.

As for my political views, I support David Baldwin because he is the right person for this job. We were the first in our neighborhood to have the Romney sign up and I will soon proudly display my David Baldwin for Trustee sign right next to it.

Dave Baldwin is exactly the person Cuesta College needs. As wonderful a person as his opponent is, she has been part of the group who got Cuesta College into the mess it is in. Cuesta needs a new direction. Baldwin has the qualities needed to help get the college re-accredited. He has demonstrated the financial savvy as trustee of the Cement Mason’s pension funds that Cuesta needs to solve its financial woes. And Dave has supervised and guided the Mason’s in building an extraordinary apprentice program, providing one of the best vocational education programs in Central California.

To save Cuesta College, please cast your vote for Dave Baldwin as Cuesta Trustee.

You can keep trying temporary fixes, but they won’t give you a long-term solution.

There is no way to “save” Cuesta College from the free market. This is all part of the “creative destruction” that economists like Joseph Schumpeter wrote about.

From the Concise Encyclopedia of Economics:

Innovation by the entrepreneur, argued Schumpeter, leads to gales of “creative destruction” as innovations cause old inventories, ideas, technologies, skills, and equipment to become obsolete. The question is not “how capitalism administers existing structures, … [but] how it creates and destroys them.” This creative destruction, he believed, causes continuous progress and improves the standards of living for everyone.

Outmoded, obsolete economic players like Cuesta College must be allowed to go. Newer, better, more creative ones will take their place.

The demand for education isn’t going anywhere. But Cuesta College and other government run educational institutions are simply on their way out. You cannot stop this from happening!

What you should fear, if anything, is not a farewell to Cuesta College, but another temporary “fix” to “save” it.

There are only three things you need to know about Baldwin’s qualifications.

1) Unions

2) Unions

3) Unions

If you think education costs are out of control now, just add another Union Shill to the board.

I am glad that you made this comment. The fact is Cuesta teachers have not had a raise in 5 years. The class offerings have been cut across the board. Numerous part-time faculty members have lost jobs or have had their hours cut back.

The administration is still paying us the same benefits package amount they paid 20 years ago. Our insurance rates have gone up consistently each year. So for anyone to say the teachers have not taken a hit, is way off base!

We are not asking for someone to represent us on the board. Just someone to listen to us. We think David Baldwin will listen to everyone before making decisions. If the current Board would have made the effort to listen and support faculty concerns, the college would not be facing the current accreditation issues. My suggestion is to take the time to read the meeting minutes before you point fingers at those that are asking for your help.

Your comment shows how out of touch you are with what has been going on at Cuesta College. For years the Custodians, Maintenance workers, Secretaries, Clerks, all Classified Staff, Administrators, Managers and everyone else with a job at Cuesta has had their pay cut, furlough days imposed and done it for the good of the college. They have not had any increase in their benefit package. At the expense of shutting down classes and laying off Part-time faculty, the full-time teachers have continued to get their full salary. In the meantime, the taxpayers have seen their pay cut and many receive no health benefits. You, and the union leadership, need to get a grip on reality and realize that it’s time you put the students first. It’s time to pay the piper. You have a good job at a time when many people are out looking for work. If you no longer appreciate it then you should go out into real world and try to get a job. I think you’ll find out that you’re better off than you think you are. Nobody feels sorry for your situation.

I have been a part-time instructor at Cuesta for 23 years. The income I make from my teaching is only 25% of my actual income. I have my own business and know what working in the “real world” is all about. My Cuesta income is less now than it was 10 year ago.

The “real” question here is why is the current board hiring more full-time faculty when they are cutting jobs for their current employees?

I have been a part-time instructor at Cuesta for 23 years. The income I make from my teaching is only 25% of my actual income. I have my own business and know what working in the “real world” is all about.

The “real” question here is why is the current board hiring more full-time faculty when they are cutting jobs for their current employees?

What makes you different than anyone else. HELLO, everyone that is lucky enough to still have a job has seen paycuts, benefit cuts, hour cuts, taxes increase, gas increase, food increase, clothing increase, services increase, etc. Keep voting union and democrats and get more of the same. Keep bringing the illegals in and give them benefits and distribution your wealth. How is that redistribution feeling?

What makes them “different” is that they have “monopoly privileges.”

It is the monoply privileges which have to go. But the only way to do this is for the government to get out of the education business and let the free market take over.

Unfortunately no one person is going to rescue the educational system. It’s quit clear that none of these people have any business sense what so ever or the school system wouldn’t be in the predicament that they are today. Once again we hear of NO cuts to any of the administrators that are responsible for this failure.

As sad as it is, more money is not the answer to fixing the problem. A NO vote for Prop. 30 will unfortunately drop the education system to it’s knees and possibly force a restructure of the entire system. And, once again, the students will be the most affected victims.

Our education system, as is today, is a failure that does need any additional subsidizing.

Public education is an albatross. Privatize it. It you don’t, it will privatize itself, even if its employees have to go kicking and screaming.

The free market is going to make this happen. Why fight it?

Honestly, does anyone else find it strange that every letter to the editor or opinion piece supporting Baldwin is by a full-time union faculty member? And does everyone realize that full-time unionized faculty members are the only group on campus who haven’t taken a pay cut? It might be nice to investigate where Baldwin’s campaign contributions are coming from.

Same with Prop 30 – did anyone read the other day that “retired” teachers strongly support Prop 30 because even through they are retired they know the schools need the money – NO, YOUR PENSION FUND IS DEFUNCT AND YOU ARE WORRIED ABOUT YOUR PENSION,,,,,,

Not only are they worried about their pensions, they are desperate, frantic, to maintain the STATUS QUO: big government monopolies from which they benefit and the rest of us do not.

These big government monopolies cannot stand and this country remain free at the same time. Either one or the other must prevail.