4CD board member Enholm lashes out at district faculty, staff after no-confidence votes

“My role as Ward 5 trustee is not to represent the students,” -Trustee Greg Enholm.

By Emma Hall, Advocate Staff

When district faculty and staff issued public no confidence votes of members of the district Governing Board, they sought accountability; but Contra Costa Community College Governing Board Trustee Greg Enholm isn’t apologizing for anything.

Instead, the current board secretary defended his record and was dismissive of faculty and staff complaints during the regular Governing Board meeting Oct. 14.

“We are not here as trustees representing the faculty, the classified staff, or students,” Enholm said during his board member report.

In the last month, Enholm and fellow board members John Marquez and Vicki Gordon received votes of no confidence from the Academic and Classified Senates of Diablo Valley College and Los Medanos College. The district Classified Senate also passed a no confidence resolution.

The Academic and Classified Senates at Contra Costa College declined to endorse a shared resolution and instead passed their own. CCC’s resolution states that the dysfunction between the district office and the governing board has inhibited CCC from providing to students. The resolution is critical but stops short of declaring no confidence.

In an interview with The Advocate, Enholm did not back down on his previous statements. He said the no confidence votes are an “artificial controversy” and his eight years with the board show that he “knows what he’s doing.”

He also reiterated his stance that the board does not serve faculty, staff or students.

“The faculty have unions which we bargain with, and so do the classified. We have two unions,” Enholm said. “The students are represented by the student trustee and the student trustee is elected by students.”

Enholm said trustees serve voters, nonvoters, and residents of the district.

He is up for reelection Nov. 3, but Enholm is confident he can beat his opponent, Fernando Sandoval, because he previously defeated him in 2016.

“At this point, I think the record shows that four years ago, when they had exactly the same choice, 60 percent of the voters say they want me,” Enholm said.

He dismissed Sandoval as someone who “has attended a few board meetings.”

Sandoval, a military veteran turned tech worker, previously served as a member of the Community College Equal Employment Opportunity Advisory Committee in 2017. He received the 2020 Cesar Chavez Award for Exemplary Community Service from LMC.

Sandoval has also been endorsed by the district’s United Faculty union, the same group Enholm scrutinized for repeated criticism of the board.

United Faculty has joined faculty and staff from DVC, LMC and the District Office in publicly denouncing Enholm, Gordon, and Marquez.

A no confidence resolution from the district’s Classified Senate states that each board member has violated one or more of the following board policies:1010 (code of ethics of the Governing Board); 1020 (conflict of interest and disqualifying financial conflicts); 1022 (Governing Board communication protocols); and 2057 (hiring of contract administrators).

According to the resolution, Enholm specifically violated Code 1022 by making special requests to previous Chancellor Fred Wood to benefit an unnamed faculty member. He went further by strongly advocating this unnamed faculty member to be appointed as Contra Costa College president, which violated Code 2057, the resolution states.

“(The three trustees) have not carried out their responsibilities with the highest ethical standards.” reads the resolution. “…our students deserve a Governing Board that puts students, the college, and employee needs ahead of their own personal agendas and political motivations.”

Classified staff have also called out Enholm, Gordon, and Marquez for not renewing the contracts of Chief Human Resources Officer Dio Shipp, District Financial Officer Jonah Nicholas, and interim Chancellor Eugene Huff.

Despite a lengthy investigation by the district and a signed investigation resolution, Enholm denies that he or his peers did anything wrong.

During the regular Governing Board meeting Oct. 14 (held via Zoom), Enholm used his board report period to criticize the votes of no confidence and dismiss their impact. He said he’s done a good job by approving bonds that financed new campus buildings, citing the fact his name is listed on building plaques.

“I also want to ask that those members of the Senates who have no confidence in me, to look at the plaques they can find on many buildings on our three colleges – which they go into on a regular basis – that have not only my name on them, but the name of two other individuals that they seem to have no confidence in,” Enholm said. “Those buildings didn’t just appear out of the air… are you no longer planning to go into those buildings?”

He also credited his involvement in approving district bargaining agreements.

“I also want you to be aware that (I, Gordon, and Marquez) voted for almost every bargaining agreement…I don’t recall any of you complaining,” Enholm said during the meeting. “So are you planning to reject those? You want us to renegotiate those because you have no confidence in us? I hope not, because we thought that those were reasonable and appropriate. So let’s keep some perspective here.”

Enholm wrapped up his board report by calling voters the true “owners” of the district.

“I can assure you, that those voters will be very concerned if they read in the newspaper that you don’t have confidence in me – because they do,” Enholm said. “My role as Ward 5 trustee is not to represent the students.”

In response to Enholm, Governing Board President Rebecca Barrett said trustees are allowed to have their own “personal philosophy.” However, she said a board member’s role is to speak on behalf of students.

“I think it’s an absolute moral imperative that we advocate on behalf of our students, not just the student trustee,” Barrett said.

Marquez denied accusations of ethical violations that were brought up during the meeting, stating people needed proof that he did “anything wrong.”

Gordon did not make a direct comment regarding ethical violations or the no-confidence vote during the meeting.

The next Governing Board meeting is scheduled for Nov. 11 on Zoom.

A recording of the Oct. 14 Governing Board meeting can be found here.