Meeting will gauge future of Sierra College president
Staff reportsThe days of Sierra College president Kevin Ramirez may be numbered, but it won’t affect the future of a Truckee satellite campus, according to local college officials.A special meeting was held after the Sierra Sun’s press deadline Thursday night in Rocklin to discuss the tenure of Ramirez, who has been asked by at least one Sierra College trustee to resign his post.The call for resignation comes from college board newcomer Aaron Klein, who has fired at Ramirez allegations of numerous campaign violations during bond elections in the March and November 2004 campaigns. Those include the victorious Measure H election, which will fund a new Sierra College campus on McIver Hill in Truckee.Frank DeCourten, dean of the Sierra College Truckee site, said the allegations will not stand in the way of building a Truckee campus.”There was never any intent to mislead anyone about campaign finances,” DeCourten said, noting that he does not know what has been discussed between the trustees and Ramirez behind closed doors.DeCourten chalked any confusion up to “clerical errors.””It is, however, a very dark day for Sierra College, that the political agenda of some of our trustees has created such rancor, angst and anxiety among staff and trustees of this college,” DeCourten said.Klein, who was elected as a Rocklin-area trustee in November, alleges that Ramirez was involved in or knew of the transfer of $105,000 from the Sierra College Foundation to a political action committee for the bond measures. Klein is asking state and Placer County officials to investigate.Donors included businesses that could profit from the college’s expansion, including McIver Hill LLC, which owns a potential college site in Truckee, and other firms, including:• Hansen Brothers of Grass Valley• Lionakis-Beaumont Design Group• NTD Stichler, architecture, engineering and interior design• Pepsi Bottling Group• Vanir Construction Management• DMB/Highlands Group, LLC, a developer with a project in the Martis Valley• Turner Construction• Western Nevada Supply CompanyKlein said the donors were not publicly disclosed until after the election. Ramirez, however, said he had thought the donor names were released in October.He said donors were encouraged to support the bond measures by contributing to the foundation – instead of the campaigns – for tax purposes. “Everybody knew the money was going to the bonds,” Ramirez said. He said he would be glad to cooperate with any investigation that results from Klein’s charges. “This new accusation will be debunked and dismissed,” Ramirez said. Thursday night’s meeting is a continuation of a meeting held Wednesday by the board of trustees to decide on the future of Ramirez, who has led the four-campus system for nearly 12 years.- The Union newspaper in Western Nevada County and The Associated Press contributed to this story.
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