Tax Money Leaving County

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Editor:

Citizens of Gila County, your taxes are being hijacked and taken out of county.

As demonstrated by the article "Community college asked to return $428,183," sales tax generated here is being given to other community colleges while we, as a "provisional community college" are "not eligible to receive the funds."

The Legislature did this because, in their infinite wisdom, they deemed us too small to have a real community college and relegated us to second-class citizenship. Through this maneuver, they take away our right to use our own tax money for our college.

In the same article, Bob Ashford, now chair of the Gila County Community College Board, states, "We will not automatically disburse a percentage to our postsecondary educational partner, Eastern Arizona College."

Fat chance. Bob Ashford, recently fined by the attorney general's office for violation of open meeting and confidentiality laws, colluded with Eastern Arizona College to develop and sign a contract giving EAC exclusive rights to provide all educational programs at Gila Community College and an additional 25 percent "overhead fee" to them for their provision of classes that we already pay for. The contract that Ashford and his cohort developed and signed, a function, by the way, of the unfair "provisional community college" legislation, takes even more of our tax money out of county, this time for the benefit of EAC.

Citizens of Gila County, look alive and get on board. We need some serious change here.

Marilyn Decker, Payson

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