In response to Mr. Metcalf's assertions in his letter to the editor of Oct. 24, I am offering the following response:
I have indeed attended board meetings of the Gila Community College Board of Governors.
I have corresponded with Chairman Ashford (who looks forward to working with me) and many others on staff at the college. In so doing, I have received volumes of information.
I received a full copy of the budget from Senior Dean, Margo Bracamonte. This is despite the fact that the incumbent has publicly complained that he was not able to obtain a copy for himself (why?). The budget reveals that the Payson campus budget was for $1.3 million dollars for 187 students ($6,952 per student) while the Globe campus was $1.4 million for 360 students ($3,889 per student), so assertions that the Payson campus does not get its fair share of services is incorrect.
As for partnering with the high school, the fact that other high schools in the county have dual credit programs, while Payson High School does not, speaks for itself.
My opponent has called attention to what the board would have to do if Proposition 101 passes. He talks about laying off teachers. This would have a severe impact on the quality of education and create a downward spiral in the college's credibility that it may never recover from. This is poor leadership. What we really need to do is to make up the shortfall by raising funds from other sources. We do this in a number of ways: 1) by raising money through private donations for vocational courses; 2) by promoting greater utilization of our college by getting out a strong message to our high school juniors and seniors. This will increase tuition revenue as well as state subsidies; and 3) by working as a team with the other board members to elevate the college from provisional status, increasing state subsidies from $944 per student to $1,700 per student.
I have worked in administration at both the University of California and at ASU. In both cases, we faced declining state revenues. We always rose to the challenge by raising funds from other sources. One thing we NEVER did was allow the quality of education to deteriorate and I do not intend to let that happen to our college.
Al Poskanzer, Payson