Letter to the Editor: Good program, but poor management

I can now give you an update on FRC’s $500,000 debt noted here on July 28. Superintendent Trutna informed the Trustees that his “New” agreement with the Butte County Office of Education (BCOE) arranges for a possible annual write-off of fees paid by FRC for 60 student enrollments per year. Essentially, BCOE will send us 60 students and not charge us for them. At this rate, if the write-offs are engaged at the full extent of 60 full0time student equivalents each year, the debt could be recovered in five years. If FRC were a business this would be a really bad deal. FRC must wait to be paid by the State of California for those 60 student enrollments. But, FRC depends on the BCOE student enrollments for up to one third of its annual budget. So, FRC can’t really control the fee relationship or put pressure on our customer for debt payback in cash. And, for my own part, I readily grant that the program BCOE supports is well worthwhile in its own right. But, this kind of poor fiscal management seems all too characteristic of Superintendent Trutna’s administration and should serve to heighten Trustees fiscal oversight on behalf of District residents they purportedly represent. Sadly, my colleagues seem disinclined on that point. At the same time, they remain anxious to expend considerable time and resources in finding a reason to censure me for my researches.

Dr. Trent Saxton
FRC Trustee, District 1