‘Fresh blood’

Three candidates vie for PCC board seat left vacant by longtime trustee 

By Justin Chapman, Pasadena Weekly, 10/31/2013

On Tuesday, voters in La Cañada Flintridge, southwest Pasadena and northwest Altadena will decide among three candidates for the Pasadena Area Community College District Board of Trustees seat left vacant by Geoffrey Baum. 
Ross Selvidge, Dianne Philibosian and Alex Keledjian are running to represent Area 1 at a time when the community college is facing dramatic fiscal challenges, ever-increasing enrollment, limited classes and a hostile relationship between the school’s administration and faculty and students.
Keledjian, 19, is studying political science at PCC. He served as a student trustee on the La Cañada Unified Board of Education and has a long list of endorsements, including members of that school board, former Gov. George Deukmejian, LA County Supervisor Mike Antonovich and members of the state Assembly.
Philibosian also lists Antonovich and Deukmejian as endorsers, as well as state Sen. Carol Liu, Pasadena Mayor Bill Bogaard and many others.
“That shows I have done something right,” Keledjian said. “The work I have been doing these many years has been effective. My age is a positive thing, because no one on that board has the perspective that I have. The average age on the board, and not to be rude, is 65. There needs to be continuity, fresh blood and new ideas.”
The college’s financial situation is exactly where Selvidge says his skills and expertise can be the most effective. He is a retired financial consultant, received a PhD in finance from USC in 1984 and served on the faculty there for more than 15 years. He also served on the Pasadena Public Library Financing Task Force, the City Charter Reform Task Force, the Rose Bowl Operating Co. board of directors, the Pasadena Planning Commission, the city Recreation and Parks Commission, the West Pasadena Residents Association and the City Hall Renovation Financing Task Force.
“It’s important to have someone like me on the board who can really scrutinize the budget proposals and ask the right follow-up questions,” he said. “They have to make sure they’ve made all necessary adjustments in budgeting so they can live within their means. They have to be much better at budgeting, and very astute at how they do that.”
Philibosian, who served as chair of the Board of Regents of the University of the Pacific, wants to address the “crisis of communication” and improve the collegial atmosphere on campus.
“I bring a wealth of background and the ability to be a consensus builder and collaborator,” she said. “That’s absolutely critical for PCC right now. We need to ensure PCC’s continued financial strength, build reserves for the future and make sure students can access classes and finish their programs in a timely manner.”