Archive for Master documents


Sedona officials and Verde Valley citizens forced College to retract original decision to potentially sell the Center; it is now a “key component” of “master plan”

Per an article appearing in the Verde independent on July 11, 2017, which was apparently provided by the Community College public relations department, the College claims “The Sedona Center expansion is a key component of the college’s master plan.”  Click here to read the article in the Verde Independent.

The article also says that the Sedona Center “addresses the growing demand for graduates with culinary and hospitality skills. Sedona and its Verde Valley neighbors attract millions of tourists annually who are lured by the unique scenery, myriad cultural attractions and a flourishing wine industry.”

What a change from December, 2013 when the Governing Board approved potentially selling the Sedona Center and pocketing the money to build a huge allied health facility in Prescott Valley. Both the plan to sell the Center and the plan to build a huge allied health facility collapsed.

You may click here to read the March 2016 Master Plan update.

College alters view of how capital projects financed

Voters no longer are sought to provide approval of major capital projects–Community College development has sufficient funds from tuition and property taxes 



The historic view followed by public education institutions that voters must approve a major capital project via a General Obligation bond  is no longer the Yavapai Community College philosophy. Because of its power to raise property taxes by a three member vote of the District Governing Board and increase tuition at will, the Community College is now able to build major capital projects without asking for voter approval.  This is a huge change in philosophy and means that the Community College is now being run much like a private company. The only difference is that it has a constant stream of revenue coming from County property taxes and student tuition.  Voters have lost almost total control over capital projects.

The old view is expressed in the Community College 1999 Master Plan.  In that plan, the College wrote:   

“As a public community college district, the primary mechanism for renovation and construction projects is the issuance of general obligation bonds approved by the voters of Yavapai County. However, the College’s goal is to maximize the use of other funding sources to support key elements of the Facilities Plan.”

The old philosophy is found throughout that plan.  For example, funding for a new soccer field, a renovated baseball field, and new tennis courts was all to come from donated funds–not from taxpayers. 

Under the new approach, the College has managed to carve out a budget from annual property taxes and tuition so that it can build without voter approval any capital project it fancies.  (Once it was thought by some that using taxpayer money at a publicly funded institution for capital development was unethical.)  For example, without voter approval, it announced a $119 million dollar development project that it intends to finance over ten years from 2014-2024. It never asked for voter approval.

As Dr. Wills stated at the February 2014 Board meeting where the ten-year plan was discussed:   “We are not going out for a General Obligation bond” for any [of the ten-year development plan.]

Vice President Clint Ewell explained at the February, 2014 meeting where the money for the ten-year plan was coming.  He said:  

“Revenues are coming from property tax and savings that we have accumulated over the past few years. . . . On average we are reinvesting about $8 million dollars a year although it ranges as low as $6 million and as high as $12 million in a given year.” (February 2014 Governing Board.)

The implications of this major policy change and operation of the Community College, which began about seven years ago, is troubling.  The College no longer needs to seek input from residents of the County before millions of dollars are invested in major development.  It can invest in any project that it fancies knowing that voters would never approve it.  Residents of Yavapai County are no longer in control of their County Community College.  It has been turned over to bureaucrats who have had no serious opposition from the Governing Board in spending millions of dollars on plant development–rather than faculty salaries, more faculty, and better overall education.  Hopefully, with two new members on the Governing Board, automatic rubber stamping of capital projects will end. 

Verde Valley on the losing side of history

Essay provides a short history of the contest between the Verde Valley and Prescott over location and operation of Yavapai Community College



History is the witness that testifies to the passing of time; it illumines reality, vitalizes memory, provides guidance in daily life, and brings us tidings of antiquity.
Marcus Tullius Cicero

There is a long history of political domination of the West side of the County over the East side. Domination began in 1966-67 when there was a fierce contest between the citizens in the Verde Valley and those in Prescott over where the first Community College would be located. The Gulf States and Industries Corporation offered $1.5 million dollars in financing for student dormitories and a student center, an outright gift of $100,000 for building purposes, and 165 acres of what was described as “prime land in the Clarkdale area” of the Verde Valley.

A site review conducted by Northern Arizona University recommended Clarkdale as the most desirable location for the first Yavapai Community College. Despite the site review and the offer by the Gulf States and Industries Corporation, the Verde Valley failed in its effort to establish the first community college there.  Rather, Prescott was  selected by the State Junior College Board as the location for the Community College.

Voters on May 23, 1967 approved 3011 to 2904 (107 margin) a $2.5 million dollar bond for the creation of Yavapai College.  It is said that almost everyone in the Verde Valley voted against the proposal because of their anger over the decision by the State Junior College Board to not locate the college in the Verde Valley.

In 1975 another dispute arose between the Verde Valley and Prescott over the Community College. The dispute was twofold: When would initial construction of the Verde campus begin? Could the Verde campus be administratively separated from the control of Prescott? The buildings were eventually constructed on the Verde campus but the idea of a separate administrative college modeled after those in Maricopa County was rejected.  Read More→