Incumbent Armando Ruiz Ousted

Posted on November 5, 2008


In a surprising upset, Lorraine Prinsky won her first term in the Coast Community College District Board of Trustees against 25-year incumbent Armando Ruiz. Incumbents Jerry Patterson and Mary Hornbuckle also successfully defended their seats.

Early results showed Prinsky won 45 percent of votes, Patterson 82 percent and Hornbuckle 53 percent as of press time Tuesday.

“We’re really excited about Patterson and Prinsky,” said Dean Mancina, the American Federation of Teachers Union spokesman. The full time teacher’s union was in support of the “Three Ps” which included Patterson and Prinsky and another candidate, Charlotte Pirch.

Mancina said that the full time teacher’s union is disappointed that Pirch was not elected.

“We felt that the best trustee for Area 4 would be Pirch who would support OCC,” he said.

President of the Coast Community College Association, Part Time Teacher’s Union, Barbara Price said that she was thrilled about the results.

“I know personally and professionally that these people put students first and teachers second,” said Price. “I’m really pleased.”

Prinsky said getting Ruiz off the Board of Trustees was one of her main goals. She said she plans on being transparent and allow anyone to talk about the budget and accreditation, another one of her main concerns.

Orange Coast College received a warning on its accreditation during the summer.

After a heated and controversial campaign, incumbent Ruiz lost his seat in Area 3 for the Coast Community College Board of Trustees. This year would have marked his third consecutive term.

During the campaign Ruiz was criticized for using a loophole to get an inflated retirement pension. Ruiz was also criticized because he went on numerous expensive trips to attend conferences at the district’s expense, according to Prinsky.

Many were disappointed in Ruiz, including the full time teacher’s union who made it their goal this year to elect him out of office.

Ruiz said he hoped that Prinsky would put students first during her term and he also wished her the best.

There are a total of five seats on the board, one for each of the five areas the district covers. Board members oversee everything in the CCCD from directing change in policies to planning budgets.

Patterson, who was part of the “Three Ps” endorsed by Orange Coast College faculty, is planning on keeping the CCCD first rate and utilizing excess lands on district property and at Golden West College to ensure the land is generating long-term revenue now that he has been re-elected.

Patterson said he was not only pleased with his re-election but also Prinsky’s win over incumbent Ruiz.

“I think we will have a board that is more cohesive, more interested in students and what a board is supposed to be doing,” he said.

Hornbuckle, a multiple term Costa Mesa mayor and strong believer in community service, was re-elected and had her own fair share of controversy.

The controversy surrounding Hornbuckle came from a campaign mailer that read “Re-elect Educational Leaders Armando Ruiz and Mary Hornbuckle,” and pictured Ruiz, Hornbuckle and student trustee Michael Battistone.

Price was disgusted by the flyer because it pictured Hornbuckle, who the union endorsed, with Ruiz, who the union doesn’t support.

Price said the mailer gave voters the wrong impression and implied that Ruiz and Hornbuckle are running as a team.

Originally published in the Coast Report, Orange Coast College’s student-run newspaper.

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