Sun, April 05

My Turn: What does it take to run Yavapai College?

Deb McCasland

Deb McCasland

I am disappointed with the outcomes from the May 8 Yavapai Community College District Governing Board meeting.  

However, I did make good use of my opportunities to speak on behalf of our taxpayers, customers and owners of Yavapai College, expressing a variety of thoughts throughout the day.

I don’t understand how the other board members can disregard the numerous comments from concerned citizens. Our role as Governing Board members is to govern on behalf of ALL the owners making decisions in the best interests of the owners as a whole.

When does the college administration say we have enough money to run the college?

YC can legally raise the tax levy by 2 percent every year, but does it need to?  It only takes three votes on the Board to raise your taxes.  

I do not believe that these regular increases in tuition, tax levy and budget are necessary. I do not believe that Yavapai College needs an increase in the tax levy to collect more taxes to effectively operate the college.  

I have been on the Board for four years now and every year $8 million to $12 million of savings is transferred from one year’s budget into a fund for Capital Improvements and maintenance.  

The current practice of inflating the budget, underspending, and shifting the savings into future capital improvement projects eliminates the need for taxpayer approved bonding.

A large portion of this ‘savings’ is from unspent contingencies that are funded each year. The process of accumulating taxpayer funds became an acceptable practice when state funding for Community Colleges was severely cut.

We do not needed to raise tuition rates for our students.  The student enrollment has declined by 30 percent in the past 10 years.

I believe there are items in the Capital Improvement Plan that are not justified. Yavapai College exists so students can achieve their educational goals at an affordable price. I do not believe that a soccer field, $500,000 cafeteria at CTEC, nor a $1.1 million tennis court complex are necessary to provide student learning.

Majority rules and the board speaks as one entity. I can remain strong in voicing my opposition as the board speaks with one voice.

I appreciate the concerned citizens that made the extra effort to attend Tuesday’s Yavapai College District Governing Board meeting to voice their displeasure with a tax levy hike.  

I have four more years on my term, two seats are up for election this November and Dr. Wills will be retiring in December 2018.

We have opportunities for change.

Deb McCasland is the District 2 Representative of the Yavapai College’s District Governing Board.

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