The Guild Executive Board at its February meeting unanimously passed a vote of no confidence in LACCD Board of Trustee member Scott Svonkin, who will be up for re-election in November 2020. If Svonkin declares his candidacy, the Guild is asking potential supporters to withhold their endorsements.
The Board’s vote was based on several concerns:
• His pattern of aggressive and bullying behavior toward fellow trustee Andra Hoffman, for which he received a warning from other board members in a 6-1 vote in 2017,
• His disrespect at Board meetings for student speakers, particularly those who intended to run against him, as well as instances during which he has shown disdain for other speakers (faculty, staff, and administrators),
• His actions during collective bargaining to eliminate Health Reimbursement Accounts and deny each full-time employee $1,500 to cover health-related expenses,
• His support for a pro-charter candidate with no experience in community colleges or public education to fill a vacated Board seat in 2018,
• His lack of fiscal due diligence in naming a building after a colleague on the Board, an expense of over a quarter of a million dollars, more than triple the normal cost of signage, paid for by general funds that could have been spent on teaching and learning needs,
• His efforts to keep AECOM under contract despite Board approval to authorize a lower-cost building contract with Jacobs Engineering. AECOM contributed $14,550 [$9,550 from the company, $5000 from its CEO] to Svonkin’s 2018 campaign for State Board of Equalization.
"The district is facing many challenges -- declining enrollment, budget uncertainty due to new ‘performance based’ funding, implementing AB 705 that eliminates entry level math and English classes, and ongoing issues with HR and IT,” said Guild President Joanne Waddell. “We need trustees who help to solve problems, not cause problems.”