Author Archive for R. Oliphant

VIDEO SHOWS GOVERNING BOARD UNEASE WITH 4% TAX RATE INCREASE; OPPOSITION TO 5% TUITION HIKE UNCLEAR

Tax hike appears to have more opposition than tuition increase

The video below shows the Community College Governing Board discussing Dr. Clint Ewell’s tentative budget increase suggestions for 2017-18. The discussion took place January 16 during the regular Board meeting on the Prescott Campus.

It appears that at least three members were uneasy with the Administration’s suggestion that it consider approving in February a 5% tuition increase  and in May a 4% property tax increase.  (Representative Connie Harris was seen occasionally nodding, which suggests she may have also been concerned.) 

Chair Ray Sigafoos seemed most concerned with the property tax rate hike.  Representative Deb McCasland pointed out that there was a questionable need for more money to increase deferred maintenance and alluded to the College’s large reserves.  Representative Pat McCarver seemed concerned with both the tuition and tax rate hike. The video is about four minutes in length.

VP CLINT EWELL EXPLAINS ON VIDEO PRELIMINARY BUDGET ASSUMPTIONS

Says College needs $2.7 million more in revenue for 2018-19

The short video below contains Dr. Clint Ewell’s list of needs that the Administration believes justifies its request for a 4% property rate increase and a 5% tuition increase.  The list is “preliminary” although the tuition rate will be set next month at the February Board meeting.

WILLS SEEKS 4% PROPERTY TAX RATE HIKE; 5% TUITION INCREASE: BOARD NOT ENTHUSIASIC

McCasland, Sigafoos & McCarver voice concerns  with Wills’ request;  Harris and Irwin silent

The Wills’ administration, in preliminary talks about the 2018-19 budget at the Governing Board meeting on Tuesday, January 16, sought large increases in revenue flowing to the College. The Administration suggested a four percent increase in the Yavapai County Property Tax rate.  It also suggested a five percent student tuition increase for 2018-19.

The suggested increases did not go down well with at least three members of the Board. Board members Deb McCasland (Verde Valley/West side), Ray Sigafoos (Prescott) and Pat McCarver (Chino Valley) all indicated concern with the either the tax rate or tuition or both.   Sigafoos seemed particularly concerned about the tax rate increase. He suggested the Administration go back to the drawing board and return with a more reasonable proposal.

Third District Verde Valley Representative Connie Harris and Prescott Valley Representative Steve Irwin said nothing.

The proposal by the Wills administration is a preliminary one.   In February the first serious test of the recommendation will come when the Board sets tuition for the 2018-19 academic year.  The tax rate decision will come after that with a final decision in May or June 2018.

CARE AND DEVELOPMENT OF BEAUTIFUL BUTTERFLY GARDEN ON VERDE CAM0PUS SHOWING MAJOR IMPROVEMENT

Blog story of May 27, 2017 & addressing Board indicating serious concern with poor maintenance may have helped spur College into action (Deb McCasland’s visit may also have been a tremend0us help)

On May 27, 2017 the Blog ran a story indicating its concern with the care and treatment of the Butterfly garden on the Verde Campus.  It pointed out that the College had a $3 million dollar maintenance budget and argued there was no excuse for the poor condition of the Butterfly garden.   Robert Oliphant, who edits the Blog, also reported on the concern over the Garden at the June 2017 Governing Board meeting and provided the Board with photos showing the deterioration.

At the time of the May 27 story the Blog  found weeds growing profusely in the garden, unplanted dead trees in large pots that had been left in the area for months, and paths that were weed filled and potholed.  It appeared little care and attention was being given to the care and  development of this garden on the Verde Campus.

The only Governing Board member to show interest in the Oliphant’s concern about the Garden deteriorating was Governing Board representative Deb McCasland.  She made a special visit to the Garden and expressed her concern about the situation to several people. 

Since the Blog’s story and McCasland’s visit, the Blog is happy to report that the College has made major improvements. It has improved the walking paths by adding appropriate pathway sand and filled the potholes. (There needs to be more sand added to some existing paths as the College didn’t order enough.)  Most weeds have been removed in most of the Garden.  The dead trees were removed and the College has planted new ones. A Gazebo planned for the area has been built and new benches were moved into the Garden.

Clearly, a major effort to clean up and complete the beautiful area for butterflies has been made.  Kudos to the College for its efforts.

Now, the College must finish the job.  The building blocks the Blog found in the garden in the spring need to be removed, more sand added, and weeding continued. The newly planted trees will need extra care over the next five years, the area properly weeded, and walking paths maintained.  The Verde Campus Butterfly Garden  will need the same kind of care, attention and maintenance given the College’s beautiful Richard Marcusen Sculpture Garden on the Prescott Campus. Let’s hope it can follow through.

REBUILDING AND REIMAGINING REITZ RANCH – YC VERDE ART GALLERY EXHIBITION AT VERDE ART GALLERY ON CLARKDALE CAMPUS

Exhibit runs January 16 – February 9; reception at 5 p.m. Friday, January 19

The show is about  the late Don Reitz, who created ceramic masterpieces on his ranch in Clarkdale, and the artists who followed him and kept Reitz’s vision alive. To the outside world, Don Reitz  was considered one of the fathers of modern ceramics. In its press release, the College says that “This show is about Sheryl and Ted and the group of artists who have joined them to build on this vision. `One by one, they just started showing up and before we knew it, we were surrounded by Don’s memories and the people he inspired,” said Sheryl Leigh-DaVault.’”

There is a reception reception at 5 p.m. Friday, January 19 at the Art Gallery on the Verde Campus.

The event is free and open to the public. Complimentary small bites and wine available for purchase from the Southwest Wine Center.

GOVERNING BOARD MEETS TUESDAY JANUARY 16 AT 10 A.M. AND 1 P.M.

Morning meeting a budget workshop; regular meeting at 1 p.m.; City of Prescott CTE partnership with College in 3D printing to be highlighted

The Yavapai Community College District Governing Board will meet Tuesday, January 16 at 10 a.m. for a budget work session.  The meeting will be held on the Prescott Campus – Rock House, 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott.

The Governing Board will hold its regular Board meeting the same day, Tuesday, January 16 at 1 p.m. That meeting will also be held on the Prescott Campus – Rock House, 1100 E. Sheldon St., Prescott.

Vice President Dr. Ron Liss and Michael Lamar, Prescott City Manager, will present YC’s new Career and Technical Education 15-week training and internship program in custom 3D printing. The program was developed by Yavapai College in partnership with the City of Prescott Economic Development Office and Prescott-based RESA Wear.  You may read more about the items on the agenda by clicking here.

Both meetings are open to the public.  However, the call to public is provided only at the 1 p.m. meeting.

You may view the agendas for the two meetings by clicking here.

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GOOD NEWS: V’ACTE GRAND OPENING FOR CENTRALIZED CTE CAMPUS JANUARY 23

However, Sedona and Verde Valley taxpayers continue to pay for centralized CTE campus on west side of County will little or no access and for the lease on this new centralized facility (a kind of unfair double taxation for a CTE building)

The good news in Sedona and the Verde Valley is the grand opening of Valley Academy for Career and Technical Education Campus on January 23.  The grand opening will be held from 5:30 to 7:00 p.m. at the new facility that is located at 3405 East State Route 89A in Cottonwood.

The facility is possible because earlier in the year V’ACTE entered a three-year lease for the 7700-square-foot facility that was the former home to Flip City Gymnastics.  V’ACTE, led by Bob Weir with the help of students and others, has been busily remodeling the facility.

This marks the second time there has been a centralized CTE facility in the Sedona/Verde Valley area.  In 2004 Yavapai Community College opened the Northern Arizona Regional Skills program on the Verde Campus in Clarkdale with great fanfare.  This CTE program, which was financed in part by a large grant from the federal government, was closed when Yavapai College decided to build a Career and Technology Education Center (CTEC) at the Prescott airport. 

Since the CTE program was shuttered on the Verde Campus, CTE training on this side of the Mountain has done the best it could with limited funds and without a centralized facility.  Meanwhile, the College invested about $19 to 20 million into the Prescott facility with a substantial amount of revenue coming from Sedona/Verde Valley taxpayers.  Unfortunately, CTEC in Prescott cannot be accessed by east County high school students; only west County students.  Furthermore, because of the distance that must be traveled and the absence of inter-campus or public bus transportation, it is challenging for others living on the east side of the County to arrange schedules so they can attend classes at CTEC.

The Chair of the Community College Governing Board has suggested that he is ready to urge approval of millions of dollars for a new Community College CTEC on the east side of the County.  However, he also suggests he is waiting for plans to be submitted by the east side for such a facility before any action can take place.

While those plans are hopefully being drawn, CTE on the east side of the County will begin program development at the new leased centralized facility in Cottonwood.

The Verde Independent has reported that VACTE will also continue to offer satellite courses at Mingus Union High School, Camp Verde High School, and Sedona-Red Rock High School.  At Mingus it is intending to offer engineering, agriculture science, automotive technology, welding, film and TV, architectural design/drafting, business office management, sports medicine and theater tech. At Camp Verde High School, it intends to offer graphic and web design, agri-business, auto tech, culinary arts, cabinet making, audio-music recording and sports medicine. At Sedona-Red Rock High School it is hoping to offer digital communication, digital photography, film and TV and theater tech. Sedona also will add a sports medicine program next year

VACTE Superintendent Bob Weir told the Verde Independent in June that there is a possibility that V’ACTE will offer theater tech and business office management next year.  For more information about VACTE and the June 29 story written by Dan Engler in the Verde Independent, please click here.

ZACHARY JERNIGAN HIRED AS YAVAPAI COLLEGE’S COMMUNITY EDUCATION COORDINATOR FOR THE VERDE VALLEY AND SEDONA

Focus to be on noncredit courses including kids summer programs

Zachary Jernigan has been hired as Yavapai College’s Community Education Coordinator for the Verde Valley and Sedona.  He will be focusing on non-credit courses in the Verde Valley  including summer programs for kids. He begins January 16.

Jernigan is a journalist, college creative writing instructor and author. His novels, No Return and the Nebula Award-nominated Shower of Stones, are compiled in Jeroun: The Collected Omnibus. His short fiction has been selected by publishers for the Pushcart Prize and shortlisted for the Spectrum Award.

For the Fall 2017 semester, Jernigan is teaching CRW 139: Introduction to Creative Writing.

As a journalist for Larson newspapers, residents in the Verde Valley have enjoyed his reporting on education and other matters for the Cottonwood Journal Extra and the Camp Verde Journal.  His replacement at Larson Newspapers is Kelcie Grega.

Congratulations Mr. Jernigan.

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OLLI ASKS YOU TO COMPLETE SURVEY FOR NEW SEDONA CENTER CAFE

What would you like the Cafe to carry?

The College will be opening a cafe at the Sedona Center this Winter. It will serve drinks and snacks.  But to better serve you, the Sedona Osher Life Long Learning Center (OLLI) folks would like to hear what you would like the new cafe to carry. And what would most enhance your OLLI experience at the Center.  The information gathered will help design a menu for food and drink offerings.

OLLI has created a  short survey and asks for your response.   Here is the link created by OLLI for the suvey:  Sedona Cafe Survey link .

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OLLI ENROLLMENT FOR WINTER COURSES NOW OPEN

OLLI encourages you to try registering online via its website

Registration is now open for Winter for OLLI programs.  OLLI encourages those seeking to enroll in OLLI courses to try registering online via OLLI’s website (link).

The first event will be the Taste of OLLI in Clarkdale on the Verde Campus on the 18th – open to everyone. OLLI encourages you to “bring a friend”  and  sample classes, meet facilitators, have lunch and socialize. 

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