Archive for Chino Valley campus


Master plan to construct greenhouses and renovate Building L on the Verde Campus for agricultural use has collapsed: Is CTE “really” headed for building L?

The District Master plan, as adopted in concept in December 2013, recommended the construction of greenhouses on the Verde campus to accommodate the move of the agriculture programs from the Chino Valley Center. That plan also recommended closing and selling the Chino Valley Center.  Click here to read the Master Plan.

Since that time, the administration has made it clear that the Chino Valley Center is no longer on the auction block. According to the administration, it is giving the Center more time to increase enrollment. The consequence of this is to abandon the original idea of moving the agriculture program from Chino Valley to the Verde Campus.

The original Master plan also states that as the nursing program migrates to Prescott Valley, building L was to be renovated for use by the agricultural programs that were anticipated coming from Chino Valley. It states that “as laboratories already exist in building L, the addition of agricultural classes will virtually recreate the Chino Valley Center’s main building.” That is also not going to happen.

So what is going to happen?  In the 2017 March update to the Master Plan, the College states that building L is to be used for Career and Technical Education (CTE). (Recall that when it was built in 2004 Building L was specifically intended for this use but was found to be a poor facility for such training. It was then remodeled into labs.)

The March 2017 update to the Master Plan states the following:  “Verde Valley: Building L has now been scheduled for a major renovation to enhance its ability to offer Career Technical Education (CTE) programming. We plan to do this work in FY19, giving VACTE a year to conduct their planning and to provide input to YC. Verde Valley Campus will continue to offer Nursing, as well as other CTE programming such as Viticulture, Enology, and Film & Media Arts. This represents an increase of roughly $3.8M.” Click here to see the March 2017 update.

So far we’ve heard nothing from V’ACTE or Dean Perey about specific plans for Building L.  Nor have we heard from the College the reasons Building L originally failed as a CTE facility but it is now acceptable for such use.  

Maybe someone should rethink the issue and come up with a “really” viable plan for constructing a CTE facility on the Verde Campus. Why not?



Chino Valley Raceway in limbo

Developer has yet to apply for permits

The latest word from Chino Valley Town management is that the developer intending to build a raceway in close proximity to the Chino Valley Yavapai Community College center has yet to apply for various permits that will start the process going.  It is thought that his fear of investing thousands of dollars in permits, etc. and having the College veto the project after the Town approves it is just too risky.

Recall the Governing Board Chair, without formal agendized approval from the Board, refused to allow Chino Valley Town management to make a presentation to it about the raceway.  Also recall that the College has the power because of a 2002 agreement to veto at any time a raceway near the Center.

The Governing Board inaction has irritated, if not angered, a number of people in Chino Valley.


College opposed raceway project in 2002; Current Governing Board refuses to cooperate with Chino Valley Council on 2017 proposal by denying town opportunity to make a presentation or decide whether it opposes or favors the project

Any cooperation with the Chino Valley Town Council on the question of developing a raceway about a half mile from the Yavapai Community College Chino Valley Center was rejected by the Governing Board at its March 7, 2017 meeting.  The decision came as Chino Valley was asking to make a presentation to the Governing Board in April about the proposed project and ask the Board  to determine whether it would veto  the project.  An intergovernmental agreement between the College and the Town of Chino Valley, which was executed in 2002, provides the Governing Board with a veto over construction of a raceway near the College’s Chino Valley Center.  The Governing Board has not changed its view of non-cooperation since the March decision.

This is not the first time the College has been embroiled in the question of whether a raceway should be located at the Old Home Manor property. In 2002 a developer sought to build a raceway  near where the Center is located.  John Morgan, associate dean for the Chino Valley Center back in 2002, told the local newspapers that the college may reconsider its plans to expand the Center  using $3.5 million of a $69.5 million bond passed by voters in November 2000 if the Chino Valley Town Council approves the racetrack.  In a telephone interview, he told a reporter from the Daily Courier that “The way the racetrack has been proposed is questionable in its compatibility. It is in conflict to what Yavapai College has planned for future growth out here.”

In a letter to the Town Council in 2002, then Community College President Doreen Daley said: “Given the proximity of Yavapai College’s Agribusiness and Science Technology Center to the projected site, building and operating this racetrack would expose the college to a number of negative factors. Equine science is a core of the agribusiness technology program, and with our plans to switch a great deal of our equine training/riding classes to the weekends beginning this summer, the track poses a threat to both animals and humans. Additional noise from operations and intrusions due to sound amplification systems would be impediments to student learning. There is no doubt the sound will carry great distances across a wide-open Chino Valley, which does not have natural buffers.”  (Sources: Daily Courier, Feb 5, 2002; Feb 12, 2002.) Read More→


Keeping Chino Valley in the dark on intergovernmental raceway agreement until a Town vote

It wasn’t on the agenda for discussion. In fact, it wasn’t mentioned anywhere on the agenda. Yet, the Yavapai College Governing Board decided in the last four minutes of the long March 7, 2017 Board meeting, without asking first for a formal vote, that  Chino Valley could not make a presentation to it in April about the proposed raceway near the Chino Valley Center. The Board will wait until a final vote by the Chino Valley Town Council approving the raceway before it will show its hand.

According to Board Chair Sigafoos, an informational presentation given by Chino Valley would simply “fill up the room” with Chino Valley people and “hi-jack” an April Board meeting. He also said, “we don’t have a dog in the fight.” This statement no doubt came as a surprise to the Chino Valley Town Council and its citizens. Chino Valley Board representative, Pat McCarver, agreed with Sigafoos.

Given the March 7 discussion, it is clear that the Governing Board is in no mood to cooperate with Chino Valley. Nor is there an interest in educating the entire board on the matter so they can be better informed if and when they are asked to decide whether to approve the raceway. Consequently, Chino Valley officials must plow ahead with the Raceway proposal and spend thousands of dollars on the project without knowing the District Governing Board’s position.

So far, the District Governing Board and President Wills have created a bewildering mountain of confusion for Chino Valley. The following outlines the story:

  1. Because of an intergovernmental agreement between the College and the Town of Chino Valley executed in 2002, Yavapai College holds a veto over construction of a raceway near the Chino Valley Center. The Town is considering allowing construction of a raceway near the Center.
  2. The members of the Governing Board have not received any preliminary information at a Board meeting where the matter could be discussed. A Board discussion about the project would give College President Wills direction in the matter. And help educate Board members about the intergovernmental agreement and concerns about the location of the raceway in relation to the College’s Chino Valley Center.
  3. The College and Governing Board members have received approximately 300 email requests for information from persons interested in the raceway project. Those requests have gone unanswered. According to president Wills,  she sent the emails unanswered to Chino Valley Town officials.
  4. President Wills made a presentation to the Chino Valley Town Council on February 14, 2017 without informing the Governing Board she was doing so. To confuse the matter, she spoke on behalf of the College and not the District Governing Board. This made little sense to the listeners. Furthermore, she suggested there were obstacles to the raceway that had to be met while also saying the final determination is with the Town. (Her speech can be viewed by scrolling down this Blog about 4 pages; Feb 28 post.)
  5. Governing Board Chair Ray Sigafoos sent a letter to Chino Valley officials before to the March 7 Board meeting without prior approval from the Board. He  stated in the letter that the Board would not allow a presentation to be made to the Board until there was a final vote by Chino Valley. To be clear, this Board policy statement was never brought before the Governing Board for discussion.
  6. At the March 7, 2017 Governing Board meeting there was no mention on the agenda of a report or discussion about the Chino Valley raceway.
  7. During the final minutes of the Board meeting, Sigafoos reported on his letter. His action was informally approved by Pat McCarver, the Chino Valley representative on the Governing Board. It was also informally approved by the Second District representative. The way this was handled raises a technical question about whether the Arizona open meeting law was violated.
  8. It is clear from the March 7, 2017 discussion, which appears below, that the Governing Board will not act and will not inform itself of the issues surrounding the raceway and the potential impact on the College until after the town votes on the issue. It places Chino Valley in a very difficult position because it doesn’t know what kind of study, if any, would meet Governing Board requirements or whether any requirements will be required. So much for cooperation.

You may view the discussion held by the Governing Board on March 7, 2017 below.


Board Refuses to comment on proposed motor sports raceway at Old Home Manor; Chair of Board refuses Council request to make presentation to Board

Yavapai College continues to put its head in the sand and hide from Chino Valley citizens on the question of whether a  proposed motor sports raceway on the Old Manor property in Chino Valley can be built.  The College has by contract a right of first refusal and can block the project.  The Town Council, frustrated at the refusal of the College to act, has decided to move ahead on its own and “force” Yavapai College to act.

A six minute video prepared by the Blog  of the 20 plus minutes of the Town meeting discussion held March 21, 2017 can be found below.  It focuses only on that part of the discussion by the Town Council that focused on Yavapai College’s refusal to say one way or the other whether it would use its right of refusal to block the project. 

Here is what the Blog has been able to discover so far:

(1) Dozens of emails from Chino Valley residents to Governing Board members have gone unanswered. In fact, an estimated 300 of them were simply dumped in the lap of the Chino Valley mayor by President Wills.

(2) President Penelope Wills addressed the Chino Valley Council on February 14 about the proposed project.  She did not tell members of the Governing Board during their meeting on February 14 she was going to do this. That night she claimed to be speaking for the College but not the Board at the Town Council meeting.  (Her speech to the Chino Valley Council can be found in an earlier post on this Blog.)  This is odd, to say the least.

(3) The Chino Valley Town Council voted February 14 to make a presentation to the College Governing Board.

(4) In a letter dated March 7, 2017 and signed by the Board Chair, Ray Sigafoos, he stated the Governing Board would not allow the Town Council to make a presentation to them as the Council had hoped. (See video below.)

(5)  The letter from Mr. Sigafoos was not presented during the March 7 Governing Board meeting so that members of the Governing Board could vote to send or not send it.

(6) The Town Council is frustrated, if not angry, by the College’s tactics.


The complete Town Council meeting of March 21, 2017 can be accessed by clicking here



Board remains mum on Chino Valley raceway

Again not on agenda

  The community college Governing Board  remains mum on the question of whether to approve development of a raceway close to the Chino Valley campus. The issue, which is several months old, is something the Board appears to be avoiding. The issue was not the March 7 district governing board agenda. At best,  it may find a spot  on the April agenda. 




Council approved presenting idea to Yavapai College by 5-1 vote

In a story dated February 22, 2017, written by Sue Tone, the Chino Valley Review brought readers up-to-date on the Chino Valley Raceway controversy. The Council voted 5 – 1 at its February 14 meeting to make a presentation on the project to the Yavapai Community College Governing Board. Council member Lon Turner was absent and council member Mike Best opposed sending staff to make a presentation. Council member Best said he opposed the raceway because of negative constituent reaction to the idea and the minimal tax revenue it would produce.  

Property owner Kathi Rafters submitted a letter to the Council citing a report from Juneau, Alaska. That report states that a noise level of 70 decibels can decrease the value of a home in the area by about 17%.

Residents Gary and Molly Beverly also  sent a letter to the Mayor and Council indicating concerns with power, water and sewer connections, noisy generators, air pollution, and the unacceptable low number of portable toilets to be used if the raceway is approved.

You may read the entire article by clicking here.


Asserts nothing has caused a change in IGA; outlines problems for College if raceway approved

President Penelope Wills delivered a six-minute political speech about the proposed raceway to be located near the Yavapai College Chino Valley Center on November 14, 2017.  She said she was speaking for the College, not the Board, and emphasized no Board members were present (unclear why this was her concern).

Early in her speech, Wills said that approval of the raceway was a matter “for the town to decide, not the College.”  She then went on to say that nothing had changed that should affect the IGA.  She said that of 300 emails received on this issue by her (or the Governing Board, it was not clear) that a majority of those voting “yes” for the speedway were from “outside the area.”  A majority of those voted “no,” she said, were from the area.

Wills said an impact study authored by the College was not a reliable document because it didn’t drill down and focus on Chino Valley.  She also said the amount of money coming to Chino Valley from the project was not significant, there were traffic issues on Perkins Road, an environmental study was needed, the raceway will use 1.12 million gallons of water annually, and the noise level could not exceed 70 decibels at the property line.

Wills indicated concern with the noise interfering with a number of outdoor classes.  She reminded the City that the College had invested over $8 million in capital construction and hundreds of thousands of dollars in operating expenses at the Chino Valley Center.

After hearing her speech, a majority of the Council voted to sent their City staff to make a presentation to the Governing Board.

You may view the six-minute speech by Wills to the Council below.


Not on February 14 Agenda; Discussion about how not to respond held during February 13 retreat

Once again, the issue of whether to approve a Chino Valley Raceway was absent from the Governing Board’s February 14 agenda.  Recall the Raceway needs approval from the College before it can move ahead because of the proximity of the Chino Valley Center to the project. The question of how Board members should respond, if at all,  came up during the February 13 retreat.  

Apparently, until the Chino Valley Town Council asks the College to review the proposed raceway, it won’t be put on the agenda for discussion.  Furthermore, Board members will apparently continue (with the exception of Deb McCasland) to ignore emails from interested citizens asking questions. (So much for elected officials responding to their constituents.)   That was the gist of the retreat on the 13th  and the general meeting on the 14th.

In a January 4, 2017 article written by Ken Sain and appearing in the Chino Valley Review, Mr. Sain indicated that the developer of the facility, David Brinkley,  told him that  it appears Yavapai College has no intention of allowing the raceway, but school officials won’t come right out and say so. According to the article, Mr. Brinkley is quoted as saying “I’m going to look at this as a filibuster, they’re choosing to make us go away by ignoring us.”

Mr. Sain also wrote  that “Multiple messages to YC officials seeking comment were not returned.”

You may read all of Mr. Sain’s article by clicking here.


Video shows some of the YC Parking lot reconstruction/resurfacing in last two years on West side of County–your tax money at work

The following three-minute video shows some of the construction of new parking lots and repaved lots carried out by Yavapai College on the West side of the County in the last two years.  

A second video in production will show you actual construction of buildings, etc.  All the while, the headcount, the College reports losing about 6,000 credit students in the last ten years.