As many people know, I've been a strong voice for college-level education in Gila County for many years, and, with others, worked hard to secure the funding and to oversee the construction of the Payson campus of Gila Community College.
Over the years, we have had to struggle constantly with unfair treatment in terms of higher education services. That struggle is still continuing, as evidenced by the fact that the Northern Gila County area served by the Payson campus includes almost 60 percent of the county's population and over 80 percent of the tax burden, but last year received only 30 percent of the funding to provide services at our campus.
We are the victims of both the concentrations of political power in Globe and outside the county -- where we are evidently viewed as a "cash cow" to be milked as needed. It's a shame, and the people in this area need to stand up and take action to deal with these inequities.
I support the election of Don Crowley, who was appointed to the Gila Community College board last April, because he clearly recognizes the need for change and is working hard to bring it about. I hope the voters of the college's District 1 will allow him to continue his work and will join the rest of us in trying to bring serious improvement to college services in Rim Country.