It is unfortunate, and sad, to see 20 years' of work and persistence from Doyle Coffey to bring higher education to the Rim country through Gila County Community Provisional College, being dismissed by the Board of Governors in their actions to return control to Graham County/Eastern Arizona College.
The work and accomplishments by Dr. Barbara Ganz, Sarah Nelson, and others, bringing transferable and life-long learning classes to the Rim country, along with a nursing program, fire science program, and other creditable classes, will all be gone in the immediate future.
I wonder if even 100 citizens in Gila County are aware of what transpired these past few weeks regarding Gila County Community College. I question the less than ethical means used by Bob Ashford in accomplishing his task to return our Gila County tax payers' checkbooks back to Graham County. I question the legality of the process of the board of governors as each board meeting went directly into executive session and nothing regarding the lawsuit between Gila County and Graham County, or the proposed contract with EAC, was discussed in open at any of the board meetings prior to the vote and decision to go back to Eastern Arizona College.
This matter is so complex that even our county supervisor voiced her opposition to the methods of returning to Eastern Arizona College, yet voted to ratify the board of governors' decision. Our county manager is so confused that he is not sure if Gila County has jurisdiction, or the board of governors have the final say, in settling the lawsuit. He is not even sure who is going to administer the transition of the college back to Eastern Arizona College.
They all seem to disregard the majority of the tax payers' and voters' wants and needs. In the years to come, as Gila County tax payers watch the portion of the general fund earmarked for emergency services and roads being depleted by Graham County, perhaps they will wise up and take back control of the destiny of Gila County.
In the meantime, the would-be students of Gila County Community College will be traveling out of county for a continuing education.
Michael J. Amon, Payson