Dear Gila County residents:
There is no question that the college has some challenges in the near future. During the recent Special Session of our Gila County Community College Provisional District Governing Board, it became obvious to all in attendance how the Rim country feels about our vibrant community college.
There are three different issues.
1. LEGISLATIVE ISSUES: There are three house bills that are being scrutinized and discussed in the legislature.
- H.B. 2086 provides provisional community college funding.
- H.B. 2105 will repeal the provisional community college legislation completely.
- H.B. 2362 includes an accommodation of the expenditure limitation for Provisional Community College Districts.
Feb. 1, the House Universities, Community Colleges and Technology Committee passed H.B. 2086 and H.B. 2105.
Feb. 9, the House Committee on Government Reform and Government Finance Accountability did pass H.B. 2362. The House Appropriations Committee pulled H.B. 2105 from the agenda.
Our Rep. Jack Brown is a member of this Appropriations Committee and our Rep. Bill Konopnicki is the chairman of Government Reform Committee.
E-mails, phone calls and faxes from Gila County residents to all committee members are helpful.
Next time you are browsing on the Internet, visit the Arizona State Legislature website, www.azleg.state.az.us, and the Gila Community College website, www.gilaccc.org for details.
2. LAWSUIT ISSUES: The lawsuit is about dollars and property that Graham County has in its possession. The county entered into this lawsuit to reclaim what the taxpayers from Gila County paid for and are entitled to.
3. ACADEMIC PARTNERSHIP: ila Community College is required by the legislature to partner with an accredited community college for academic and certificate programs. This changes only if the legislators rewrite the law and criteria, which now examines the population of 15-year-olds and older, and the evaluation of property taxes adjusted annually. Both are barriers for our county.
Our current academic partner is Pima Community College District, one of the largest community college districts in the country. Since Dr. Barbara Ganz became president of the college district, the college has entered into many partnerships to enhance the training and education on each of the three campuses. The partnership list is extensive.
The continuing support from the communities during the next many months is critical to sustaining the momentum. If you would like to be notified of future group meetings and critical information as it occurs, e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org. I will include you on the "Friends of the College" list.
Sarah J. Nelson, Director, Community Programs, Gila Community College, Payson Campus