Nov. 2015 Advocate: Dave Mandelkern: Election statement


Dave Mandelkern: Board of Trustees election statement

In the November 3 SMCCCD Board of Trustees election, AFT 1493 has endorsed newcomer Maurice Goodman and incumbents Dave Mandelkern and Karen Schwarz. Below is Dave Mandelkern’s candidate statement.

Dear Faculty Members:

D_Mandelkern-webThank you very much for the endorsment by AFT 1493 for my re-election to the Board of Trustees of the San Mateo County Community College District, and for the opportunity to communicate directly with each of you via this letter in The Advocate.

It has been an honor and a privilege to serve as your elected Trustee for the past twelve years. During the past four year term, we’ve been through some difficult times together, stemming from when Sacramento cut our annual funding by tens of millions of dollars at the beginning of this decade.

In spite of those cuts, I made sure that from the Board of Trustees on down we carefully examined our priorities, kept cuts away from vital classroom and job training programs, and continued to offer excellent educational opportunities, while avoiding the faculty layoffs, furloughs, or benefit cuts that were seen in other districts around the state.

Now that the fiscal crisis is past, and the District’s financial picture has improved, I’m pleased that we have been able to provide faculty with competitive salary increases for the past two years, along with increased contributions towards the cost of your health insurance. Hopefully this trend will continue going forward, and I am pleased to see that progress is being made towards improving health insurance coverage for adjunct faculty as well. I continue to remain committed to fairness and equity in compensation increases and benefits for all District employees.

I do keep a close eye on the District finances and budget, and have made sure that your retirement plans (both pensions and post-retirement health benefits) are well funded and fiscally sound. If I am re-elected, I plan to continue to ask the tough questions and make the (sometimes difficult) decisions necessary to ensure that both your financial future and the District’s finances are secure.

My goal, if I am re-elected, is making sure that together we are providing a 21st Century education for San Mateo County students.

That’s why I championed the recently completed comprehensive community needs assessment to see what San Mateo County residents, students, and employers really want from their Community College District. Now it’s time to make sure that the implementation of the new District strategic plan is responsive to those needs.

I want to make sure that you have the necessary resources as we work together to increase access to college for more San Mateo County students, particularly to assist those students that may need a little extra help bridging the gap between high school and college.

I want to support you in your efforts to improve our already high student success rates in career technical education and transfer to four year colleges and universities.

I also want to support and fund your pursuit of new and innovative methods in teaching to ensure that each and every student at our three colleges is successful in achieving their individual educational goals. We must recognize that success even if their goals do not result in a certificate, degree, or transfer to a California public university.

I want to help address the current local rental housing crisis by adding additional affordable housing options for our faculty and staff.

And I want to make sure that our latest bond measure is spent as voters intended, focusing on the highest educational priorities to best serve our community’s educational needs.

I bring experience, leadership, and vision to this role. All three are necessary to be a successful Community College Trustee.

Along with my twelve years of experience on the Board of Trustees, I have proven leadership on our Board, on other non-profit Boards, and in the private sector. I have a clear vision for the future of what our Community Colleges should be, based in part on the input that I’ve gotten from many of you.

I respectfully ask for your support and vote for another term in office. And please ask your friends and neighbors in San Mateo County to vote for me too.

For more information about my background and who else is endorsing my campaign, please see my website at