Hello, I’m Tom Loeffler, a member of the Gila Community College Governing Board and I’m asking for your help. Recently, the board chair, Robert Ashford, in an apparent illegal move, repealed all the board policies so that he could ignore term limits and be elected chairman again. In doing this he betrayed the public trust in an elected official, ignored two previous valid motions by the board and skirted the Open Meeting Law. This action is one of many irregularities.
Our only recourse is to demonstrate our outrage of his actions by speaking out at the next board meeting. This meeting is currently scheduled for 2 p.m., Thursday, Jan. 27 at the Payson and Globe campuses of the college.
Talking points for those willing to speak up at the meeting:
• No mention in the Dec. 9 agenda that a vote to repeal the established policies was coming up for a vote as is required. Only items on the agenda may be acted upon.
• Chair refused to follow the wishes of the entire board by ignoring two valid motions, unanimously approved at two meeting, to table all discussion of policies until a work session was held. One of these was made by the chairman himself.
• Robert’s rules of order, The Open Meeting Law and the public trust were all violated.
• Chair ignored the term limits and pushed this change through for one reason only ... for his own gain.
• Since Bob Ashford, as chair has absolute control of the agenda, which also is a violation of the very policies he threw out, he can control future actions of the board and direction of the college to his own agenda.
• By not placing the policy repeal on the agenda, the chair did a disservice to the voters by not notifying them to his intention to repeal all policies.
• Not only did the chair not give any proper notice to the public, the chair gave no notice to board members of his intentions.
• To simply throw out all board policies for his own gain is not only extremely self-serving, but is simply bad business practice.
Please feel free to express any other feelings or ideas you may have on this subject.
The decision from the Open Meeting Law complaint has now come down and the attorney general ruled against us. He said “update” could mean repeal of the policies.
Thank you for your support in striving to make our college the best it can be.