The mood was light when Trustee Geoffrey Baum, Area 1, was elected president by the Pasadena Area Community College Board of Trustees in a unanimous vote, in the Creveling Lounge on Dec. 14.

As the trustees reached for their voting lights’ green buttons to signify their approval of his election, Baum joked, “My wife would press the red button.”

Baum replaces former Board President William Thomson, who has held the position since July 2010.

Also elected by unanimous votes were Trustees John Martin, vice president, and Anthony Fellow, clerk. PCC President Mark Rocha will continue his role as Board secretary.

Baum said he looked forward to the year ahead, despite the tremendous financial      challenges that will be posed by the state and nation.

He said he anticipated that the Board of Trustees would work as a team, operate with transparency and be receptive to outside opinions.

Although he looked forward to partnering and communicating with the many groups that represent PCC, Baum said he hoped for a more constructive discourse in the coming year.

“[We] welcome passion, commitment, and enthusiasm but [hope people] recognize that we’re all here to operate with mutual respect, a sense of decorum and integrity,” he said.

Baum acknowledged Thomson for providing exceptional leadership.

“[Thomson] has been an officer during some of the most interesting times in the history of the PCC district,” Baum said.

Elected in the middle of a term, Thomson “stepped in under unique circumstances,” he said, and oversaw the college’s transition after Mark Rocha was elected PCC’s new president.

President Rocha also expressed his gratitude to Thomson for his service.

“Thomson is an experienced and skilled public servant and his leadership this year has been a great gift to me and to the college,” Rocha said.

Baum’s election followed an Oath of Office swearing-in ceremony for Trustees Thomson, Jeannette Mann, John Martin and Linda Wah, who were reelected in November.

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