Citrus College Approves President’s Controversial Pay Raise

After angry debate among trustees and classified employees, the Board of Trustees approve Dr. Gerri Perri’s salary increase to $251,000 at the end of four years.

Despite public outbursts, personal jabs and bitter debate, the Citrus College Board of Trustees approved President Dr. Gerri Perri’s controversial annual raises in a divisive 3-2 vote Tuesday.

Classified employees crowded into the boardroom and expressed outrage over the proposed contract adjustments, which ensured Perri’s employment through 2016, and included annual step raises similar to other management employees. The raise would increase her current $215,000 salary to $251,000 after four years pending continued positive annual evaluations.

The contract also gives Perri 2.83 vacation days per month, which can be cashed out at the end of the year.

But public comment speakers, mostly classified employees, complained of the reduction of classes, teacher layoffs and a $5.7 million cut from Citrus College’s $55 million budget, calling the proposed pay increase during tough budgetary times “in poor taste.”

“The sanity of even discussing a raise is unbelievable,” said Glendora resident Debbie Neal.

Classified employees also complained that under their current contract, seven years would pass before they would see another opportunity for a pay increase.

“Classified morale is at an all-time low,” classified employee Scott Norman told the board.

The debate extended to members of the Board of Trustees who engaged in contentious banter during the meeting.

Dr. Edward C. Ortell took issue with items in Perri’s contract, calling them inappropriate, especially with the uncertain passage of Governor Jerry Brown’s tax initiatives in the November election.

Trustee Dr. Patricia Rasmussen called Ortell’s comments “bad boardsmanship.”

“These things were discussed in thorough discussion after the board meeting,” Rasmussen told Ortell. “Everyone had an opportunity to give insight. It is bad boardsmanship to come back after the fact after you approved it in closed session.”

Trustee Susan M. Keith defended Perri’s contract, praising Perri’s “unanimous” positive evaluation and citing all employees' annual step increases.

“I know a lot of people don’t want to consider step and column as a salary increase. It is a salary increase. It is an automatic salary increase,” said Keith. “[Perri] has gotten nothing, not a cent in the last four years since she has been at the college.”

The Board of Trustees approved Perri’s contract in a 3-2 decision, with Rasmussen, Keith and Joanne Montgomery voting in favor of the contract. Ortell and Dr. Gary L. Woods were the two dissenting votes.

Danielle Haskell Elgin July 18, 2012 at 07:07 PM
It is really too bad that Dr. Perri couldn't have done the right thing, and declined a raise. This is who is shaping the minds of our kids? I guess the shared sacrifice is only for some.
Erin Thorn July 19, 2012 at 04:46 AM
Meanwhile my son is currently unable to get classes and we're waiting to find out what happens if the governor's tax initiative fails and Cal State University's don't except any students from the class of 2013 and all those students are flooded into the JC route. This sure seems wrong while public educators are taking furlough days and declining even a cost of living allowance for several years already and more in the offing. Citrus should be working out a plan for how to get more classes available instead of how to get the president a raise. I know it's a tough job but with the economy in this state everybody is taking a hit. Why should this job be any different?
sayitisntso July 19, 2012 at 05:07 AM
The public sector are the new elite. The private sector will be taxed into poverty and given nothing for the privilege of supporting those who used to work for them but now work for themselves. Thank your Elected Officials for getting on the public gravy train and supporting all of the public employees. Working their way up the political food chain to a great paying position and obscene retirement package. You helped to empower them and keep re-electing them. The problem with Socialism is that only a very few have every thing including the power and everyone else has absolutely nothing.
sayitisntso July 19, 2012 at 05:15 AM
Welcome to the NEW SOCIALIST REPUBLIC! You asked for it with Jerry Brown and now you have it.
sayitisntso July 19, 2012 at 05:28 AM
Enjoy the meetings while they last. Jerry Brown has struck the first blow to kill the Brown Act. California: Posting agendas in advance no longer required for government agencies California: Counsel for the newspaper publishers association says open meeting act now unenforeable
Raymond Aguirre July 19, 2012 at 05:32 AM
This is criminal! What happened to integrity? Dr. Perry and the entire board needs to go! How can anyone be so stupid as to accept a pay raise while students are struggling to pay for classes? This makes no sense, and is backward thinking! If congress can intervene in sports, why can't they intervene here?
Dan Crandell July 19, 2012 at 05:42 AM
Don't worry be happy. Today Gov. Brown Streak signed the "high speed" train bill and declared us the ninth riches group of tax payers on earth. Sounds good to me however I am concerned that those eight others may get to BK before us and that don't seem fare.
Erin Thorn July 19, 2012 at 06:18 AM
But I didn't vote for Jerry Brown.
Erin Thorn July 19, 2012 at 06:39 AM
Who is you? I'm pretty sure it's not me since you don't know me or know what I think or how I vote. I assume you think I am in support of taxing us "into poverty" just because I said "if the gov's tax iniative doesn't pass"? Trust me, I'm not. Sadly at this point in time though I would be willing to vote for it in order to keep public education from losing any more money, open classes for students at JC's and give my other son, who is graduating in the class of 2013, a chance at actually going to college. I honestly feel this tax initiative is being used as a scare tactic for our vote and it's angers me that we're being told vote yes or we will do all of these bad things that will affect future generations. Our economy isn't the fault of the current government. It is the fault of years and years of abuse and past generations who thought their standard of living could go on forever. It's time to stop pointing fingers and find a solution.
Erin Thorn July 19, 2012 at 06:41 AM
I don't support that either, but could we stay on topic?
Dan Crandell July 19, 2012 at 03:20 PM
Governmental corruption is "on topic" at all levels.
sayitisntso July 19, 2012 at 04:46 PM
Erin Thorn...you are the problem. You think voting a tax increase will change anything with the schools, well it won't and every time we vote a fix for the schools it changes nothing. The public employee unions will just have more money to spread around and waste.
Gayle M. Montgomery July 19, 2012 at 09:28 PM
At a time when students are not able to get sufficient classes and when tuition has gone up astronomically at all levels, it hardly seems appropriate to have such an increase, gradiated or not. The volume of vacation days earned seems more than ample as well. I'm a graduate--twice--of Citrus College, and I hate to see these kinds of things happen at the expense of our kids.
Erin Thorn July 19, 2012 at 10:17 PM
Once again you are wrong about me(Since you don't know me.) I did not say it would fix anything. It's just a bandaid. But it's one of those bandaids that if not applied at this time will cause a hemorrhage. Everything put out there about school budget cuts specifically states that the tax initiative won't give us MORE money, it'll just keep more cuts from occurring. Please don't attempt to make statements and judgements about me, when you have no idea of what I think or do or how I vote. Especially when you aren't even brave enough to use your real name.
Danielle Haskell Elgin July 20, 2012 at 04:50 AM
Not sure why sayitisnso is blaming Ms. Thorn. As much as you post on her, you should know Ms. Thorn is a very involved citizen that doesn't spend time calling for more taxes. I don't even know Ms. Thorn, but I read her posts, I know her ideas, and she had great ideas often to solve problems. It just gets very annoying when anonymous people continue to attack people just trying to make a difference.
Danielle Haskell Elgin July 20, 2012 at 04:50 AM
You said it, Gayle. Again, why can't these administrators ever do the right thing?
Joe Black July 20, 2012 at 06:44 AM
Erin, the last time I checked a bandaid will not prevent or even prolong a hemorrhage. All you are doing by voting a tax increase is supporting a pay raise for for the public elite next year. The line in the sand has to be drawn and the elected officials need to know we will no put up with any more threats or scare tactics. NO MORE TAXES!!!! Let the bankruptcy's begin so we can start rebuilding what our elected officials have destroyed.
NWT July 20, 2012 at 08:08 AM
It's pretty apparent that their rhetoric is founded in the extreme, ultra-capitalistic and fascist views of the tea bagger, excuse me, I mean tea party movement. "Let the public entities go bankrupt so we can start anew"...Really? sounds completely extremist to me. I'm willing to bet assembly member donnelly (name and title left intentionally lower case as a sign of blatant disrespect) is their hero. I'm not thrilled about the idea of raising taxes at all, but given the drastic and potentially devastating consequences if California once again sits idly by and does nothing, well I guess the buck is going to have to stop here -and if that means increases taxes, then so be it. Lastly, about this nonsense regarding Dr. Perry's raise. We Monrovians have no one to blame but ourselves! Ohh, lets all vote for Joanne Montgomery; she's so wonderful, bandwagon, bandwagon, blah-blah-blah!! Only 2 months into her re-election and she just cast the deciding vote in favor of this absurdity! The difference between $215K and $251K a year is $36k. How many more sections of classes (with a given 30 students a class) would that $36K difference fund? I'm guessing at least six. Do the math, that's 180 Citrus students/college bound Monrovians that could have had a better shot at getting a class, transferring to University or graduating. Absolute nonsense!
sayitisntso July 20, 2012 at 04:59 PM
Erin it is already a hemorrhage and a band-aid won't fix it.
sayitisntso July 20, 2012 at 05:10 PM
Tax Payer dollars built and support those schools and US citizens should go to the head of the line and if there are any openings after that then the non-US students will be accommodated.
sayitisntso July 20, 2012 at 05:14 PM
NWT, I will assume that that stands for NIT-WIT and leave it there,
Gayle M. Montgomery July 20, 2012 at 06:34 PM
Stop the name calling. Debate the argument on its merits but assume that each person has a real basis for their arguments even if they are different than your own. We all come from different places and different perspectives. Stop the doom and gloom and the world is going to end. Wait for the outcome of the Mayan projections on that and presume that, in the long run, we will get through this together even if we do not like one another. All this throwing of cow pies at one another does nothing to further the discussion. It just shows arrogance and ignorance. We live in or around the same town. We are not enemies of one another. We are neighbors. Quit being cruel to one another. If we had an Aurora, a big earthquake, or a fire, we would need to reach out and help one another. That's a simple truth. So state your position, provide evidence to support it without the broad brush, and be polite. The rest of this garbage that has been ongoing has been purely and simply bullying. That is NOT the spirit of Monrovia.
NWT July 20, 2012 at 09:07 PM
Hilarious! Though not really. Sayitisntso, Anytime you'd like to put the schizophrenic rantings aside, and articulatly debate an issue whilst not resorting to a grade school playground mentality, I'm all ears.
Erin Thorn July 20, 2012 at 09:49 PM
Maybe someone else can point out the obvious that a bandaid doesn't prevent hemorrhaging? Let's pick out the figure of speech and tear it apart since we don't have an answer for the actual problem. Gayle you are right about the doom and gloom.
Charles Castillo July 21, 2012 at 03:29 AM
The vacation payout is really the underhanded moneygrab that could easily double the 4% raise that was awarded. Do the math. Citrus employees already get 17 paid holidays a year (that includes shutting down the college around Christmas time), so the idea of being able to use up 8 weeks of vacation on top of that is ludicrous. The president makes $1000 dollars a day ($215,000 divided by 222 days contracted) if she uses half of the awarded 44 vacation days, she will get paid out 22 days. That would be a $22,000 payout on top of the 4% raise she would receive! Dr. Rasmussen, Dr. Keith, and Mrs. Montgomery need to be voted out or at the least be given a vote of no confidence!
Dan Crandell July 21, 2012 at 03:51 AM
Anger makes more since when you actually have the math to fan the flames. Charles if this information is correct, trust but verify, a vote of no confidence should be demanded immediately. Boggles the mind.
Charles Castillo July 21, 2012 at 12:03 PM
The info is verified. Also Trustee Sue Keith said the President hasn't had a raise since she was hired. That is also not true. Every year the 3 ladies have approved a $40,000 housing allowance on top of her salary. Perri is the first President at Citrus to receive this perk. 2 of the board members have always opposed that perk but the three ladies have always approved it and increased it! That is a perk that has never sat well with the majority of employees at Citrus.


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