Battle over flea market continues

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The continuing discussion over the flea market takeover dominated public comment of the Tuesday, Sept. 13 board of trustees meeting.

NEW BATTLEFIELD: ASBG President Nicholas Aguirre looks over documents before public comment. PHOTO BY JESSICA BLANKE

At the meeting, several members of the campus community, including some Associated Student Body Government (ASBG) members, questioned the takeover, continuing the argument over the $500,000 operation that has gripped the campus in recent weeks.

ASBG President Nicholas Aguirre and ASBG Vice President of Student Affairs Bronche Taylor questioned the legality of the takeover.

“If this is something that wasn’t approved [by the board], how is it legal?” asked Bronche at the meeting.

Near the end of the meeting, Aguirre stated his intention to meet with lawyers to fight the takeover.

“We [the ASBG] are pursuing every recourse available to have the ASBG Flea Market returned to the ASBG, including litigation,” Aguirre later stated in an email interview, also adding that he was meeting with attorneys to discuss options.

“We believe wholeheartedly that we are in the right, both morally and legally when it comes to the ASBG Flea Market,” he continued.

In his closing comments at the meeting, President/Superintendent Dr. Jeff Marsee confirmed that the district had indeed taken over the management of the flea market.

MEETING: From left, Trustees Steve Castellanos, C. Jennet Stebbins, President/Superintendent Jeff Marsee, and President of the Board Teresa Brown at the Tuesday, Sept. 13 meeting. PHOTO BY JESSICA BLANKE

“Board action was not required for us to do this, period,” Marsee later said in an interview.

Marsee also confirmed the administration is open to discussing revenue issues with the ASBG, inviting them to meet with Vice President of Student Services Michael Kerns when he returns from medical leave to address financial concerns.

“We remain open for discussion and consultation with [the ASBG] to discuss both their financial needs to remain a viable student life oriented organization and our willingness to work with them…on concepts to generate either new revenue and/or, if necessary, allocate some proceeds from the flea market to help make sure they are able to continue functioning.”

The ASBG is open to meeting with administration on this issue, according to Aguirre.

“We are absolutely open to having a conversation with him [Kerns] and any other administrator. However, we will not allow President Marsee or VP Kerns to try and minimize or diminish the fact that they have taken the ASBG Flea Market (the largest source of income for students) away,” Aguirre wrote in an email.