Let's Get What We're Paying For



A decisions likely to be made Friday by the Gila Community College Board of Governors (split three to two)o basically give away control over our college, itsurriculum and our taxes to Eastern Arizona Community College in Thatcher. The contract is ridiculously one-sided, even in the guarded opinion of the outside lawyers for Gila County.

As you may remember, the Gila County Board of Supervisors severed ties with EAC a few years ago and filed a $5.6 million suit to get back money from EAC. EAC countersued for the same amount.

Now Gila County, for some reason, is going hat in hand to settle the case and our college is their major bargaining chip; they plan to commit us to a 10-year contract with EAC, when we already have a five-year contract with Pima Community College and more limited link with Rio Salado Community College (for the nursing curriculum). All that will go down the drain, based on decisions likely to be made today.

Essentiallyhe trustees grouprom Globe (led by Vice Chairman Robert Ashford) is highjacking what many people in this county have built beginning almost 20 years ago. This is opposed by Chairman Ron Christensen and Dr. Larry Stephenson.

Dr. Stephenson has put forth a very viable compromise that would allow the Payson campus to continue its contracts with Pima and Rio Salado, while the Globe campus would be free to contract with EAC, but this appears to have been rejected by the other trustees.

If this one-sided "settlement" is approved by the college board, it will then go to the county supervisors -- again heavy with Globe representation -- and will probably be blessed there as well. So, now is the time for action.

We voted for this provisional college and to tax ourselves to finance it.

Don Crowley and Gordon Metcalf, Co-chairmen, Citizens for Better Payson Government

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