Archive for Complaints


Hearing disabilities advocate Jack Clevenger asked the Governing Board to look into the hearing disabilities issue (captioning) at the Performing Arts Center eight months ago, yet there has been no public response from the Board to his concern

Deb McCasland’s complaint that she couldn’t hear the comments of the Governing Board because of her hearing disability at the September 11 retreat is not the first time in the last few months that a hearing disabilities complaint has been brought to the attention of the Board.  (See McCasland story below.)

Disabilities Advocate Jack Clevenger told the Board at its February 2017 meeting that the Americans for Disability Act requires improved (or possibly new) facilities be installed at the Performing Arts Center for the hearing impaired. From his perspective, the current hearing disability facilities provided at the PAC were not adequate because of a lack of captioning. He noted that the 11,000 residents of Prescott with hearing impairment might begin considering attending concerts and other events if the Center fully complied with ADA.

In response to Mr. Clevenger’s comments about the hearing disability issue at the PAC, the Board said nothing.  It was silent and has not placed the issue on any Board Agenda after eight months. Furthermore, the Blog cannot recall the College President responding in her subsequent monthly reports to the Board about any changes at the PAC.  Consequently, Yavapai County citizens have no way of knowing whether the PAC issue was addressed or ignored.

Query:  Is the College in violation of the ADA?  Why isn’t the College more receptive to persons with hearing disabilities like Jack Clevenger and Deb McCasland?

The Blog believes that President Penelope Wills should specifically address those concerns on the record at a Board meeting and assure the public that the College is responding to these important issues.  

You may view Mr. Clevenger’s three- minute presentation below.


Dana Dieterich describes the challenges she faced

Dana Dieterich addressed the Governing Board on April 18, 2017 about her concerns over the closing the wet lab on the Prescott Campus.  In the short video below, she outlined to the Board at its June 13, 2017 meeting the frustration she had experienced in her failed efforts to meet with President Wills.

Many might say, “she got the royal runaround.” What say you?


College donates equipment

The effort by Dana Dieterich to save the wet photo lab on the Prescott campus has failed.  She learned on Tuesday, April 18, 2017 that the equipment for the lab had been donated and the lab closed.

Dieterich evinced concern for faculty members who were adversely affected by the decision.  She was also concerned about the process leading to the closing, which she said was based on “misinformation.”

You may view Ms. Dieterich’s speech to the District Governing Board about the wet photo lab below.

McCasland seeks greater open communication from Wills’; changes in Board behavior

Expresses serious concerns about lack of effective Administration communication and poor Board behavior

The Wills’ administration has on occasion admitted it is not good at communication.  That failing was again evident from Governing Board Representative Deb McCasland’s  written remarks, which are contained in the January 12 Governing board agenda.  (You may view the agenda by clicking here.

Deb McCaslandUnder the Carver model of governance adopted by the Governing Board, Wills is obligated to keep the Governing Board members well informed. McCasland expressed obvious concern that Wills’ was not meeting that obligation.  McCasland wrote that “information that affects the Board should be shared with all the Board members as it occurs, not just select individuals.” She wrote that “open communication is very important to provide trust and respect, Finding out about college administrative matters in the press and not first from the President is not effective communication.” 

She continued that:

“notifications to the Board are not timely. Too often I found out about administrative changes through news releases in the newspapers, not from Dr. Wills.” 

McCasland also raised questions about how the Governing Board was functioning.  She stated that “We need to have more discussion on intended long-term impacts on the communities. We are lacking in our civic trusteeship obligation to all the owners of our district. Verde Valley owners have legitimate concerns that are not being addressed.”

Finally, she stated that:

 “Board meetings are not an open exchange of opinions or comments. Often Board members insult other members, individuals and committees of the Board. (This policy) needs to be readdressed and defined.”

Huge disparity: College to spend almost five times as much on West side of County

Community College may spend $195.3 million on West County development; $41.5 million on East County development

RUTH WICKS 2Long-time Verde Valley educator Ruth Wicks pointed out to the College Governing Board at its last meeting in March that it will spend about $195.3 million dollars on the West side of the County in capital development from the year 2000 to 2024 if the controversal Ten-year-Plan is followed.  By comparison, it will spend only $41.5 million on the East side of the County.   

Ms. Wicks called for the Governing Board to establish an Administrative Community College on the East side of the County similar to those created in Maricopa County.   You may see the complete presentation by Ms. Wicks by clickng here.

“Profound insult” on Verde Valley taxpayers

Ten-Year-Plan insulted Verde Valley taxpayers; it should be “halted”

Sedona resident Mr. Joel Staadecker told the Community College Governing Board at its March 3 meeting that approval in December, 2013 of the Ten-Year-Plan conveyed a profound insult on Verde Valley taxpayers. The insult was to develop a plan that called for spending 97% of the funds in West Yavapai County. After all, he said, around 40% of the property taxes supporting the College come from the Verde Valley while over 90% of the expenditure was going to occur in Prescott and Prescott Valley.

INSULTEDHe also asked the Board whether the new Sedona Center Parking lot and the Verde Valley Governing Board Advisory Committee are intended to merely placate Verde Valley residents until the “storm blows over.” Then, the Board can proceed with the Ten-Year-Plan unimpeded.

Mr. Staddecker said that the College is proceeding with the Ten-Year-Plan without any significant change. To him, it appears the College efforts are designed to placate the current uproar until the storm blows over.

He also asked the Board to either halt or scrap the Ten-Year-Plan given the opposition coming from the Verde Valley.

Mr. Staadecker’s address to the Governing Board can be seen and heard by clicking here.

Yavapai Community College ignores Verde Valley opportunities

Archeology Center Executive Director relates woes of dealing with Yavapai Community College

Ken Zall, Executive Director of Verde Valley Archeology Center, rolled out a long list of bad experiences his organization has suffered at the hands of Yavapai Community College at the District Governing Board meeting March 3. He charged the College has consistently showed a lack of interest and lack of cooperation in working with his organization. In frustration, the group turned to Northern Arizona University and the University of Arizona.

The Center, which has received numerous awards for its outstanding work, has 440 members from the Verde Valley. It recently received over $2 million dollars in a grant to build a new facility in Camp Verde.

He said that when the Center was created it had a Yavapai Community College representative. However, when that person left the College, the Center asked for a replacement. Zall said that it has been over two years since the replacement request was made and the Center is “still waiting” for the replacement to show up.

archeologyWhen the Film School was closed down, the Center contacted the Community College explaining it could create a school of archeology and geology. The Center met with College officials in Prescott who told them the proposal had a lot of possibilities. Then, two days later they saw a press release indicating the College was selling the Sedona Center. “The lack of candor at the [Prescott] meeting,” said Mr. Zall, “has left a very sour taste in our mouth.”

He also said that when the Center received notice it would receive $2.1 million dollars for a new Camp Verde facility it contacted the College inquiring whether it would like to participate. In response, the College named one representative who attended one meeting and did not follow up thereafter. Nothing more has been heard.

The Center also contacted the College suggesting there was an opportunity to create a certificate in archeology based on the successful model at Pima Community College. He said there were a couple meetings and the Center was “abruptly told” that the College saw no student base for this program. The Center adamantly disagreed with this assessment. However, the idea of a Community College certificate program for architecture and geology in the Verde Valley has apparently vanished.

Lacking cooperation from the local Community College run by Prescott, the Center has developed a relationship with NAU and has four graduate students working with it on projects. Additional students from NAU and the University of Arizona will be working with the Center this summer.

Despite the lack of cooperation from the College, the Director said door is still open for the Center to work with the College. You may view Mr. Zall’s presentation to the Governing Board by clicking here.