Michael Berger | Protect the COC Gem: Vote Bjorkman

Letters to the Editor
Letters to the Editor

There was a time in our history when College of the Canyons, a fledgling community college, was not all that important or even relevant. Sure, it played a role in the development of our community by drawing families and businesses here, but its part was limited. Some would say it was stagnant.

But that all changed about 30 years ago when new leadership took the reins and began a remarkable transformation of our dormant little college. That leadership, along with the support of the board of trustees that was in place in 1988, set out to make amazing possibilities a reality. Today, College of the Canyons is perhaps our community’s greatest asset. It is all-important and relevant to everyone who lives here, works here, or does business here. It touches all of our lives.

I share this brief history to illustrate a point. COC is a gem to be protected. It is one of the best colleges in the nation because of extraordinary, stable leadership, vision, passion and perspective, as well as a board of trustees that shares the vision and is in sync with those dynamics.

Our local board of trustees needs to have all of its members committed to functioning as a team within the confines of the law and the spirit of opportunity so that it is in sync with what our community at large needs. A board of trustees is elected to represent the interests of the entire community — the members, the businesses, the high school students and individuals who need to retrain to create opportunities for themselves. The board members must be ethical, professional and respectful of the role that each and every one can play to strengthen and create the foundation that will continue to foster a bright future for our community college.

You can vote for Ann-Marie Bjorkman for Seat 5. This selfless doer has performed wonders for our valley’s nonprofits, especially the SCV Boys and Girls Club. Ann-Marie is a leader with passion, vision and energy — not unlike the chancellor of COC. She will make certain that COC continues to provide access to affordable education and training for our students, employees and businesses.

Ann-Marie Bjorkman is our best hope to protect COC and keep it on the right track. I sincerely ask you to vote for Ann-Marie on Nov. 6. 

Michael Berger

Vice President, Board of Trustees

 College of the Canyons

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