Enholm talks plans for term

Adria Watson, [email protected]

Ward 5 voters have spoken and re-elected incumbent Greg Enholm to his trustee seat on the Contra Costa Community College District Governing Board.

As of Nov. 23, with a 100 percent precinct reporting, 60.55 percent of Ward 5 voters selected Enholm who had been challenged by Fernando Sandoval.

Although it was a competitive campaign, there was no surprise for Enholm once the votes started coming in.

“This is my sixth public election so I’ve had that experience six times,” he said adding, “I know from my prior election in 2012 that the vote-by-mail margin was much bigger than the poll’s margin. So when I saw the vote-by-mail being, basically, 20-percentage points –– I do teach mathematics and statistics –– I knew that I won, typically incumbents to our board win.”

Throughout the election, Enholm’s campaign focused around improving facilities for students at Los Medanos College, raising awareness of the College and Career Access Pathways (CCAP) program and ensuring successful planning of the new Brentwood Center campus so that it meets far East Contra Costa students’ needs.

He emphasized that he is an advocate for is the CCAP program because of his firm belief that the best preparation for college is by taking college courses while in high school.

“You have a 70 percent chance when you come prepared and a 30 percent chance when you come unprepared, we as an institution should try to switch as many of those students who would’ve been unprepared in that prepared category,” said Enholm, adding that this would be the easiest way for them to increase student success at the college.

“I’m hopeful that we can actually partner with the high schools so that we shift the percentages.”

But having adequate facilities at the main Pittsburg campus and the Brentwood Center is his number one priority going into this second term because, “from my own personal experience as a student and a faculty member, inadequate facilities are not conducive to the best learning.”

He said when newly hired Chancellor Fred Wood takes office in 2017, the board needs to begin considering another bond measure to ensure the colleges have facilities adequate to serve all students.

His campaign for wanting to improve LMC facilities did draw criticism this election with his continuing support to move the already approved site of the new Brentwood campus to a different location.

He has previously acknowledged the move is unlikely but in an interview for the Oct. 28 Experience article “Ward 5 election update,” he explained that what he wants is for there to be recognition that the selected site will most likely not fit the needs of the community in his ward into the future and that there should be a planning process for a full college.

Although what he campaigned for throughout this election still holds high priority, Enholm shared his concerns regarding Donald Trump being elected the next president of the United States and what may come under his administration.

He explained that drastic events are unlikely to happen, but that the board and district, as a whole, should always be prepared for everything.

“Where people get in the most trouble is assuming that a low probability event is a zero probability event and not planning for it,” said Enholm. “We don’t want the department of education overnight to stop sending up checks, we need to be prepared for that sort of eventuality with this president and this congress.”

He clarified that the district does have reserves so if that happens, the board would be able to draw from them but “clearly we would need to make very painful, difficult, unpopular, unnecessary reductions in what we offer to students.”

LMC President Bob Kratochvil shared his appreciation and acknowledges Enholm performed well his first term on behalf of the students, faculty, staff and managers at the college.

“Mr. Enholm has been a great supporter of LMC,” said Kratochvil. “I look forward to working with him and his governing board colleagues over the coming years.”