District staff can run a health membership | Letters To Editor


“The college district knows how to manage facilities. They don’t know how to run a health club, ”wrote Mark Simon on May 27 of the operation of the San Mateo Athletic Club (SMAC). In fact, classified employees of the San Mateo County Community College District provide services beyond “facility management.” Many classified employees believe we can successfully manage the day-to-day operations of SMAC like other fitness centers (e.g. Howard College, Ohio University, University of Michigan, and more) located in colleges / universities across the country.

Simon says “stick with the business you are in” and doesn’t seem to be aware that colleges / universities across the country are successfully running various programs / services in addition to teaching, e.g.

Also, “one board member wanted the entire facility to be run by district staff, which will add significant cost to the center’s operating costs.” If other colleges / universities can successfully run their own staffed gyms, why can’t SMCCCD?

Excerpts from the board meeting on the SMAC staffing:

• July 22, 2009, (BR-09-7-2C) “Trustee Holober asked if the staff would be provided by regular district employees. Chancellor Galatolo said the staff will be a combination of faculty, graded and students and possibly … contractor trainers. “

• December 9, 2009, (BR-09-12-4C) “Mr. Bauer said he believes the fitness center is best run by a provider partner initially. . It is possible that . the district could learn enough about the business to take the business back into the house if desired. “

• March 23, 2011, (BR-11-3-104B) “Trustee Schwarz said her original goal was to give employees classified in the district the opportunity to get jobs at SMAC.”

District employees can continue to operate SMAC successfully.