PCC President Paulette Perfumo is considering returning her college-provided vehicle after a controversy erupted around the Cadillac Deville.At Monday’s Academic Senate board meeting Perfumo also clarified to what degree the Board of Trustees has assisted her and her husband in their transition.
“I certainly regret the amount of time and energy that has gone on this particular issue,” said Perfumo about her car.
“What I am considering is, it looks like it may be possible to return the car and rotate it back through our pool without it harming the district, and then if the Board would reconsider, in my contract, switching out the vehicle to the auto allowance that other CEO’s have,” she said.
“The car will go away and we can just all start on a fresh page. Because I really want us to work collaboratively,” she said.
The Cadillac had stirred up concerns about the kind of image it gives to the PCC community, especially because of its $54,244.46 price tag and 14-mpg efficiency in the city.
This was largely due to the Pasadena Star-News’ front-page story on the car, in which it speculated and compared this particular item to other college presidents’ situations.
“I think there was some faculty that never realized that presidents in the past have had a college vehicle provided for them. So I think that created some of the confusion . initially,” she said.
“I would actually prefer to have just a monthly auto allowance. I would be taxed on that amount of money, but it would be my responsibility to take care of the car . and make sure it’s maintained,” she said, adding, “I am . exploring some options to be able to do that.”
In the last Board of Trustees meeting, talk of assisting the president in moving closer to the campus continued. It was mentioned that the current state of the housing market is preventing the president from selling her home.
“Our home . started on the market at $620,000, we just received an offer for $530,000,” Perfumo said. “We’ll be lucky to break even when we walk away from the house.”
“The college is not considering buying me a home,” she added, addressing an email that circulated among faculty.
According to Perfumo she and the Board have only been looking at other colleges and the housing arrangements made for their president. Presently, the president is receiving a $3000 supplemental allowance for local accommodation.
English Professor Roger Marheine brought a letter to the meeting, which he planned on presenting at the next Board meeting. He explained how “perception” plays a big part in the PCC faculty’s reaction to the president’s start on campus.
“We cannot afford to have the perception that we can consider shorting college programs to reward an already well-paid administrator,” the letter says.
Susie Ling attended the meeting representing the social science department and made it clear that her department continues to have concerns.
“My division is still telling me the same thing . we have concerns about the expense,” she said. The Academic Senate put the issue to rest by motioning that the Executive committee “keep a close eye” on further developments in the president’s doings, which was approved by all except Professor Ling.