Fiscal Argument Continues To Separate College Board

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The Gila County Community College Governing Board meeting took place in two classrooms over 80 miles apart but the contradicting mindsets of the board members separated them more than the physical distance.

The board meeting on Thursday, broadcast from both the Gila Pueblo campus in Globe and the Payson campus through ITV cable, linked the five board members via television.

The three board members in Globe -- Robert Ashford, Bernadette Kniffin and Michael Pastor, and the two board members in Payson -- Don Crowley and Larry Stephenson argued for over an hour about money issues for their respective college districts.

Crowley said that through November of this fiscal year Payson had received 26 percent, or more than $367,000, of the Gila Community College's funding compared to the 45 percent, or nearly $647,000, that Globe had received.

"We should have at least 40 percent (of the funding)," Crowley said.

Chairman Ashford said that he'd like board members Crowley and Stephenson to give a presentation about where the shortcomings were at the next governing board meeting.

"I'd love nothing more than to give Payson 82 percent of the budget, but you need to come up with viable programs," Ashford said. "Go out and beat the bush, gentlemen."

Pastor also challenged Crowley and Stephenson to use their "negative energy to accomplish positive things for their college."

Crowley and Stephenson will make a presentation at the next governing board meeting regarding the Gila Community College's budget discrepancies.

After arguing for nearly an hour over monetary issues, an exasperated chairman Ashford ended the meeting without a proper motion to adjourn.

In other news, the board approved the re-election of chairman Robert Ashford and vice-chairwoman Bernadette Kniffin and elected Michael Pastor as secretary of the board.

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