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The Verde Independent | Cottonwood, Arizona

home : opinions : opinions October 3, 2015

5/13/2014 12:30:00 PM
Letter: What about the inappropriate distribution of collected real estate taxes?


I read with great interest and skepticism the Friday May 9th contribution of Dr. Penny Wills. The first word of the title "continuing" misleads the reader to believe that Yavapai College actually paid attention to the needs of the individuals of the Verde Valley in the past. The current concern would not have taken place if the constituents of eastern Yavapai County were not alerted by Mr. Robert Oliphant to the activities and decisions of the "community" college and governing board.

The college produced a limited schedule, marketed it poorly and then blamed the potential consumers of the Verde Campus for the response or lack of response. The citizens were then blamed for not being vigilant enough watch dogs. One would think that this would be the responsibility of the members of the District Governing Board and possibly even the conscience of the administrative staff. They have shown us who they are and what they are!

Now a Community Advisory Council is proposed. Is this a sincere effort for improvement or an attempt to place and mislead while the college proceeds with the "Ten Year Plan" without needed correction?

In an effort to repair the tattered reputation of the college, the statement is now made that they will be "listening and learning." Yavapai "Community" College has taught us one important thing - watch every move they make.

There was no mention of the inappropriate distribution of the collected real estate taxes.

Margaret Bain


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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, May 28, 2014
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Sorry. My last post was intended for Ruth Wicks's 5/22/14 commentary: " A real Verde Valley College is within reach."

Posted: Tuesday, May 27, 2014
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Possibly, Mr. As-you-go, because it's a good way to elicit information that isn't in the textbook, as well as make sure the correct data sticks.

Assuming the on-line YC Faculty Directory is current, I counted 111 full-time faculty members. 16 on the Clarkdale Campus would actually be 14.4%. As far as the 2013 Verde Valley population guestimates are concerned, I'm not sure where you're getting 70,000. I counted 37,123 in municipalities--per VI article, "Census: Overall population growth in Arizona since 2010" 5/22/14. If Mr. Fun's overall figure is close, unincorporated areas--including VOC, I think-- contain another 28,000 give or take. That gives us a guestimated 65,123 or so.

But so what? Dr. Ewell spent a good deal of time determining that Verde Valley taxpayers contributed "well over $12 million" a year to Yavapai College operations. That is accurate.

So is the fact Yavapai College splurged on an Olympic-size swimming pool and snazzy tennis court--and intends to splurge more on a spiffy med-ed center and community college dorms in Prescott, presumably for those 85 Camp Verde students who couldn't find what they needed in Camp Verde or at the Clarkdale campus.

That's all my tiny brain can retain. Your and Mr. Fun's capacity for detail would probably be extremely valuable on a Verde Valley Citizens' Community College Advisory Committee.

The truth in Ruth is that she knows how to get people thinking, truly thinking, about what truly matters and what they can do about it.

Posted: Tuesday, May 20, 2014
Article comment by: Thrifty old codger

Some of us still don't think Mingus needed that much reconstruction, Mary. We still believe the Mingus folks got carried away by the housing boom, just like the Cottonwood City Council--and Yavapai College Clarkdale campus.

Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014
Article comment by: Mary Heartman

@ It seems to me
Re: "...the people who thought $15 million plus debt service was insane would still be screaming…"

That is the truth. Even with the Mingus Union Citizen Renovation Evaluation Committee (MUC REC) on the job, there was such a backlash Margie Beach had to form a Cottonwood chapter of Partners In Education to salvage the 2009 Mingus override renewal. It wasn't until the auditorium was finished with enough left over to refurbish the track that critics calmed down enough to realize there was no point practically rebuilding Mingus from the ground up if you couldn't maintain the programs.

But you also have to remember MUM's executive committee and MUCREC read like a who's who in Verde Valley community service. MUM wasn't a PAC by today's definition. It was an arm of Mingus Connection, extended solely to fund a project beyond MC's fundraising capabilities. Everyone was intimately familiar with Mingus's problems and had earned the community's respect through years of competence, integrity, and good judgment.

I like the idea of a non-political citizens' action and oversight committee, and I can see the potential value beyond just Yavapai Community College or just Mingus High School. But sometimes organizations that work on one level don't scale up very well.

Posted: Monday, May 19, 2014
Article comment by: itsy bitsy Spider

Not always, Mr. Cowpoke. Mr. To-me's right. The 2006 Mingus Renovation bond campaign and follow-up was a shining moment in the annals of school financing. Look it up.

Thanks for reminding us, Mr. To-me. I'd forgotten how effective community action can be when it's truly committed to its stated purpose.

Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Article comment by: The Cowpoke

Now you know. Vote down any overrides and School Bond issues. That is all these Administrators understand.
...."In the first place, God made idiots. That was for practice. Then he made school boards."

Mark Twain

Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Article comment by: It seems to me:

Education in the Verde Valley would benefit from an overall citizen's watchdog and advisory committee. You'd get a broader cross section and more people with the time to be actively involved and reason to stay on top of legislation, planning, and execution.

Remember when the Mingus Union Matters PAC transitioned into the Mingus Renovations Citizen's Oversight Committee, or whatever it was called, after MUM won their 2006 capitol improvement bond issue? That was so good. Without them insisting promises they'd made to dubious voters be kept, I don't think it would have come in on time, much less under budget. And I know the people who thought $15 million plus debt service was insane would still be screaming without Ann Cumpston's stand for complete transparency.

You'd also get a more long term perspective and coordination among the community's primary, secondary, and post-secondary needs. Maybe even more people willing to run for the various school boards.

Posted: Saturday, May 17, 2014
Article comment by: @ T Hearn

Not talking about course listings, but really object to the mailers that do nothing but blow their own horn. We don't need to be paying for that.

Posted: Thursday, May 15, 2014
Article comment by: T. Hearn

Reply to Academic double speak:

How would the community otherwise know what courses were available? These mailers are usually produced in-house, and without some "slickness" on the cover, more people would just toss them without noting the offerings.

Reply to Push me, Pull me:

You're probably right. Since the Verde Valley is inadequately represented on the Board of Governors, an unofficial "advisory council" may be the only way to monitor the administration's actual plans for the Verde Valley and keep stakeholders informed.

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Article comment by: Push me, Pull me

Part of the irony for the community college administration is reflected in the author's comments, and the conflicting blog comments. The former perceives "poor marketing," and the latter is tired of receiving "slick mailers." Hopefully, caring and committed individuals from the community will be willing to serve on the advisory council.

Posted: Wednesday, May 14, 2014
Article comment by: Academic double speak

I also read Dr. Wills' article and thought to myself "what a crock."

I also dislike receiving their slick mailers too. Just got another one a few days ago. How much are those costing taxpayers?

Would prefer to see them use our educational dollars on ... um ... let's see ... how 'bout actual education ... instead of PR campaigns intended to convince us of what a good job they are doing.

Change of leadership needed at YC, both admin and elected repesentatives.

Posted: Tuesday, May 13, 2014
Article comment by: Yes, it would seem...

Eternal vigilance is also the price of education.

Watching YCC administrators, however, is about as easy as counting eels in a tank. How do you propose eastern Yavapai County constituents accomplish this task?

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