We owe our thanks to Govind Tatachari. His entry into the race for a seat on the Foothill-De Anza Community College District Board of Trustees means that there is a race in the Nov. 3 election. Four candidates, including three incumbents, are vying for three open seats. Having a competitive race puts appropriate public attention on the district and its issues.
As with other districts, Foothill-De Anza faces some major financial challenges ahead. The district has been hampered by cuts in state and federal funding, and enrollment, which saw a modest rise over the past 60 days, has been trending downward. The transition to at-home learning due to the COVID-19 pandemic has been smoother than other districts but not ideal, and the loss of international students also has dealt a financial blow.
Fortunately, the district continues to benefit from strong leadership. Chancellor Judy Miner is an excellent communicator who runs a steady ship. And the current board works well together. That is why we endorse incumbents Laura Casas, Peter Landsberger and Gilbert Wong to continue in their board positions.
Casas, a trustee since 2005, brings extensive knowledge of the district’s inner workings and offers a strong, empathetic approach. Landsberger has vast experience from more than 30 years as a community college instructor and executive. Wong credits community colleges as a catalyst for his long career in public service, including two terms on the Cupertino City Council.
All three have shown competence and commitment in serving the district. They are also true believers in the role of community colleges as “the great equalizer,” as Casas put it, providing relatively affordable education for those who could otherwise not afford it.
While we appreciate Tatachari’s interest in running, it would be more beneficial for him to spend time gaining district experience by volunteering on committees and in general getting to know the district better. For now, we heartily support Casas, Landsberger and Wong for another four years.