COD Trustee Bea Gonzalez opposed multiple contracts for minority groups.
PALM DEERT — Embattled College of the Desert Area 2 Trustee Bea Gonzalez who has come under fire for turning her back on students is once again taking heat for doing the same thing, but one could argue that she is specifically opposing students of minority groups.
During the most recent Trustees meeting, Gonzalez and Area 1 Trustee Rubén AríAztlán Pérez asked for an item to be pulled from the Consent Agenda, setting the stage for discussion. The pulled item dealt with Approval of Expenditure Contracts/Agreements/Amendments/Non-Monetary Agreements.
The top contracts included:
- OneFuture Coachella Valley — a mentor and scholarship program for male Latino students
- Kaleidoscope Company —furniture for the Black Student Success Center
- Aten Construction — restroom upgrades at four locations at Palm Desert Campus
- Jim Dunn & Company — a program development for the Visit Greater Palm Springs Hospitality Training Program.
- Desert Moving Company — warehouse storage for the Indio Campus Expansion Project
- ELM Resources — to help streamline student loan processing
- PPL Inc. — contractor who provided search services for the Interim President/Superintendent
- Hensley Law Group — the legal services for the comprehensive forensic audit
- California State University, San Bernardino — Fieldwork experience for school counseling candidates to earn practicum hours through volunteer work at COD.
- California Nursing and Rehabilitation Center — to provide clinical laboratory learning experience for the COD physical therapy assistant program.
- Jewish Family Services — to provide housing assistance for COD students who are housing insecure or homeless.
If you study the contracts, they are designed to help homeless students, Latino students and a Black student center. They are aimed at helping all students.
Chair Bonnie Stefan asked Gonzalez if she would like to take each item individually. Gonzalez declined, saying the agenda was already long. “I’ll just vote how I think I should vote,” she said. Watch the conversation here starting at 1:04:00.
Gonzalez was the dissenting vote. Five trustees voted for the contracts.
At least three of those contracts were for minority organizations: OneFuture Coachella Valley, Kaleidoscope Company and Jewish Family Services.
Gonzalez did not return a phone call for comment or answer an email sent to her official COD account.
In a release issued Thursday, Aug. 24 the self-anointed watchdog group Promises Made, Promises Broken wrote that, “Trustee Bea Gonzalez has proved again that she has no intention of working for the students or for the betterment of COD.”
These are just a few of the professional services contracts that are desperately needed to bring COD back to offering our students enough annual classes and the best educational experience, according to the release. Trustee Gonzalez continues to exhibit her obstructionist behavior because of some perceived personal slight.
Earlier this summer, the group purchased a six- to seven-week advertising buy that targeted Gonzalez.
“Promises Made, Promises Broken’s video about Bea Gonzalez (was) to make the community aware of her own stream of negative statements to stop the West Valley campus from ever being built.” Bruce Hoban, spokesperson for the group, told Uken Report at the time. “Does she represent the will of the District’s students and voters, or something else? You can’t have two masters at the same time.”
That wasn’t the first time Gonzalez got snared in the group’s crosshairs. Earlier this year her face appeared on a high-profile billboard on Indian Canyon that stated, “Shame on you for voting against COD students!”
- In Cape Coast Ghana: COD