The Nov. 6 South Orange County Community College District (SOCCCD) Board of Trustees election re-elected two incumbents, David B. Lang for Area One and William O. Jay for Area Three, and ushered in first-time trustee Timothy Jemal as the new Area Seven member who is filling the void left by Frank M. Meldau who decided to step-down after taking over the position in January of 2011.
Area One saw incumbent Lang and Irvine business attorney David L. Martin running for office. Lang took the position in a landslide, finishing with 154,961 votes (68.6%), according to www.smartvoter.org, and landing himself a fifth consecutive term. His streak of success began in 1996.
“I’m very gratified that the voters in South OC have supported me in my re-election bid and will continue to do my best to serve the community,” Lang said via email.
Some of his key stances include the opposition of tax increases, the reduction of local bureaucracies, the increasing of job training, certificate, and transfer programs, and further supporting of the Emeritus program.
“I will continue to be an advocate for students, a watchful guardian of our precious fiscal resources, and mindful of our colleges having the right mix of programs to adequately serve our students and community. I am pleased with the job we have done for the district, but won’t allow us to rest on our laurels as we can always strive to do better,” incumbent Lang also said via email.
Incumbent William O. Jay faced businesswoman Arlene C. Greer and graduate student researcher Jennifer J. Long in the Area Three trustee election. Jay handily won the position with 118,647 votes (52.9%), according to www.smartvoter.org, and will now be on his third consecutive term after filling a trustee vacancy in 2004 and being elected to serve through the year 2012.
The Area Seven trustee election started off with John Williams running unopposed, which lead to Mike Moodian, Jan Serrantino-Cox, and Tim Jemal joining the race. Jemal won the open trustee position allocating 70,764 votes (32.5%), as stated by www.smartvoter.org.
“I am committed to serve with the highest level of integrity, honesty and transparency. I will not make decisions based on personal interests or partisan politics. Education is the key to our economic growth and quality of life, and I owe it to the taxpayers to focus like a laser on providing world-class education in South Orange County. I will not let the community down,” he said over email.
He states that his primary concerns involve improving college and career readiness, working with the Advanced Technology & Education Park in Tustin to expand student technical career education and vocational skills, to have Saddleback and Irvine valley move into the top five graduation rates among two-year colleges throughout California and prevent the rise of any new tuition fees for students.
“My central priority is to improve college and career readiness. If we don’t close the gap in college and career readiness, the U.S. is destined to mediocrity which is unacceptable to me. High-school graduates must be college-ready because taking remedial courses at community colleges is discouraging to students. Our community colleges must communicate clearly with students the consequences in time and money of dropping out of college,” Jemal said via email.
“I want the South Orange County Community College District to be the catalyst for local economic development,” he also said through email.
The recently elected appointees will be present at the next district board meeting on Nov. 19 at 6 p.m. in the Ronald Reagan Board of Trustees Room.