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Williams, Temprano, Quick, Hurabiell for S.F. City College Board

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Running for the City College of San Francisco board is the local political equivalent of volunteering for the infantry. In fact, half the trustees who could have run for re-election this fall thought better of it and opted to spend more time with their families.

It’s no wonder. Even after emerging from an existential accreditation crisis, this institution, vital to the city’s education access and economic mobility, is a basket case by any reasonable standard. It’s hemorrhaging money, beset by physical and technological deficiencies, searching for yet another top executive to succeed a long line of short-lived chancellors, and back on the accreditation watch list. Even before the pandemic, the board was facing the daunting prospect of cutting costs and taking other unpopular steps to right the college’s finances over the objections of faculty, students and other interest groups.

The challenges facing City College call for both continuity of board members who have shown the mettle to make tough decisions and newcomers with the financial acumen to identify and address problems.

The incumbents on the ballot, President Shanell Williams and Vice President Tom Temprano, fit the bill. They have been willing to make painful but necessary moves, such as closing the money-draining campus at Fort Mason.

In a candidate forum with our editorial board, two challengers stood out for their fiscal savvy: Marie Hurabiell, vice chair of the Presidio Trust Board and member of the Georgetown University Board of Regents; and Jeanette Quick, an attorney and CCSF student whose background includes being a staffer for two U.S. senators and having the most private sector experience among the 10 candidates.

This may be the most thankless duty in city politics. Voters should be grateful to have four solid candidates to help guide this troubled but essential San Francisco institution.

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