SAC Trustees will vote today, April 12, on whether to extend contract to Martha Garcia

WALNUT — The San Antonio College Board of Trustees will vote today, April 12, on whether to extend a three-year contract worth $342,500 annually to embattled College of the Desert Superintendent/President Martha Garcia.

The proposed contract would begin July 1, 2023, and terminate on June 30, 2026. Unlike her COD contract, Garcia will not receive a cost-of-living-adjustment to her salary during the term of this proposed agreement. Her COD contract states that any COLA approved for all other managers during each year would also be adjusted in the president’s base salary, subject to approval by the board.

If SAC Trustees approve her contract, Garcia will receive up to $10,000 in relocation expenses.

Her salary is significantly less than what she is making here.

On Nov. 10, two days after Joel Kinnamon was elected to the College of the Desert Board of Trustees, the Board of voted 3-2 to extend Garcia’s contract — and give her an inflated pay hike.

The increase boosted Garcia’s annual base salary to more than $397,000 per year, about a 12% increase he was making. Her term was extended one year through June 2025, and her severance pay was hiked from 12 to 18 months of salary.

The pay increases were supported by then-Chair Ruben Perez, the now-defeated Aurora Wilson and Bea Gonzalez, who is under fire for not supporting a Palm Springs campus which would benefit students in her district.

You may read her full contract here.

The SAC Trustees public session opens officially at 5:30 then moves immediately to a closed session until approximately 6:30 p.m.

If Garcia’s contract is approved, she is scheduled to begin her duties in Walnut on July 1. To date, she has not let trustees know when her last day will be. If anyone knows, they aren’t saying.

Trustees Perez and Gonzalez, two of Garcia’s biggest supporters, did not return a request for comment.

Kristeen Farlow, public information officer, told Uken Report, “I have not heard any specifics about Dr. Garcia’s last day.”

Numerous attempts to reach Garcia directly were unsuccessful. Uken Report continuously received a message that the person we are trying to reach “has a voice mailbox that has not been set up yet.”