Jim Buchan has competition for his seat on the Board of Trustees in the form of a young Sutter resident named Dan Cucchi. As a teacher, professional, and former student of Yuba College, Cucchi is set to take on the communication issues facing the administration, faculty and staff.
Cucchi wants to bring communication and understanding to the Yuba College administration. He believes that the current administration has not “been working hard enough to find solutions,” and that the first problem facing the college is the communication breakdown between the administration, the faculty and the classified staff. Cucchi claims to be one who understands the issues and can be trusted to do what is right.
Entering into the fray, with his wife and family at his side, the young teacher and student from Sutter County has a self-declared interest in the community. According to Cucchi, “Government exists to make life better,” and he fully intends to do what he can for the local community and college. When asked why he decided to campaign for the trustee seat, he readily replies that instead of just complaining about the issues, he felt he should be involved.
Cucchi is a firm believer in the necessity of the fine arts programs at Yuba College. As a chorus member and student, he sees the benefit and the need of the community college offerings. According to him, “People often attend community college to test the waters,” and with too much focus on core classes, there are no waters to test. According to Cucchi, the fine-arts programs have been cut to the brink of nothingness at Yuba College. He believes that the Board’s decisions recently have been short-sighted and too focused on the short term effects. He believes he’s the right man to bring long-term thinking to Yuba College.
One specific instance of mismanagement cited by Cucchi is the January 2004 raise of President Nicki Harrington’s annual salary. Though he assumes it was deserved and warranted, he said that it was “completely unwise.” President Harrington had earned a $15,813 raise, nine months after the same Board of Trustees had lain off 37.17 full-time equivalent classified employees. Cucchi says that the decision was ill-timed no matter what the justification.
The incumbent Buchan has the advantage of a well known and liked career, but Cucchi has a hope that the youth and booming of the area will leave Buchan’s connections short and unimportant. Although Cucchi claims to be the most qualified for the job, he faces an up-hill battle to get his name out. He’s meeting with the faculty, and administration at Yuba College. He has signs, and flyers. In hopes of targeting as many potential voters as he can, he said he would even consider going door to door.
In the end, Cucchi’s campaign is that of communication, team work, and understanding. He contends that the current climate of unrest, anger, and frustration must be changed in order for Yuba College to thrive. He has put himself out there for the voters, and Buchan is there waiting for election day. At this point, it’s anyone’s election to win.