Forum offers another look at candidates


Peter Costanza

De’Shawn Woolridge and Greg Enholm listen to an opponent speak.

Kellie McCown

All 91 seats were covered with bright golden flyers and small crisp note cards in Room L109 inside of the Los Medanos College Library on Oct. 24. The three candidates, De’Shawn Woolridge, Daniel Borsuk, and Greg Enholm sat at the front of the room under florescent lights and in front of an audience of chatty super-charged students.

The lines are drawn, the battleground is set and the victory is your vote. The three men are running for the upcoming vacant seat on Ward 5 for the Contra Costa Community College District. They will be responsible for setting policies for the CCCCD, hiring administration and faculty, and most importantly making important financial decisions on a potentially hopeless budget.

Honors Enrichment Ambassador and seasoned debater Ashley Curry mediated the forum that was sponsored by the LMC Honors Club. Each candidate was given three minutes to respond to five prepared questions and four minutes to respond to questions from the audience. All three were given opening and closing statements to try to sway students and faculty for their support on Nov. 6.

While the CCCCD is responsible for carrying out many different policies district wide, the hot button issues on the table were the upcoming increase in California sales tax Proposition 30, and whether or not the Brentwood Center should be moving to a 110- acre site verses the already approved 17 acre site.

“The Brentwood Center is a great for place students from the southern side, the Brentwood and Oakley area, to still get their education,” said Woolridge. “With things they way they are, not every student can travel here. The goal of higher education is affordable, accessible, and obtainable. “

Woolridge continued to say that he agreed with the already approved voter decision to move the Brentwood Center to a 17-acre site.

“Do I feel that LMC over-extended itself with its plan? No, actually I don’t. I support the voter approved plan for the Brentwood Center. Right now I believe that LMC is doing what it can to put a good center out there for our students, and down the road we can look at options to move forward,” he said.

Borsuk and Enholm both agree that the Brentwood Center needs to be moved to a site that will allow itself to be flexible with future economic growth in the Brentwood and Oakley communities.

“You have to think about the future,” said Borsuk. “The economy will improve and we have to think about expanding in the Brentwood area because that’s where the growth is occurring. We have to think years ahead.”

While Borsuk’s main focus is the growth in Brentwood, Enholm believes that LMC needs to expand its Brentwood Center to meet the needs of the citizens of Antioch and Oakley with a 110-acre site on Laurel Rd.

“I have a major concern with what’s going on in education in the college district in the far Eastern County,” said Enholm in response to the new site. “It was clear to me when the Brentwood Center on Sand Creek Rd. was opened in 2001 that it was too small. I went out and talked to voters in April and when they found out that the district had a proposal for a 17 acre campus, particularly voters in Antioch and Oakley were appalled.”

Enholm went on to say that if he is elected to the chair, that he would take the resources for the 17-acre site, and apply them to a proposed 110-acre site.

“ I am strongly supporting the idea of having a 17 acre campus start, and taking the resources to Antioch and Oakley and applying them to a campus with the ability to grow to 110 acres.”

The second major issue, Proposition 30, left all three candidates in agreement that there would be a need for more funding if the proposition does not pass.

“I think that there will be a need to continue to press for support from the business community and non-profit organizations, “ said Borsuk. “ I think that there is going to be a need for someone to provide some leadership and avocations for state and federal legislation so that down the road, more funding will be available for community colleges, and especially for LMC.”

While Woolridge, Borsuk, and Enholm all come from different backgrounds and have different visions for the future of the CCCCD and LMC, all have the students as the main focus as they race to fill the empty chair in Ward 5.

“Higher education is a defining moment,” said Woolridge in his closing statements. “After Nov. 6, it’s going to go up or down. You guys are the important players. And at the end of the day, we answer to you.”

For students, faculty, and staff interested for more information on Ward 5 and the candidates, visit National and state elections will be held Tuesday, Nov. 6.