We should care about how our taxpayer dollars are spent, because apparently the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees does not. The board decided to accept the resignation of Stan Jensen as the college's president, and Jensen moves on with a $500,000 check. Residents in the community will be paying for this because part of the school revenue comes from our property tax payments.
I really can't grasp how these arrangements with public officials are made and how is it possible that people who quit their jobs can leave with a severance package. This isn't Goldman Sachs, this is a public college.
In this community (the one that includes all the counties that fiscally support CMC) - which is still coming out of the recession - some people have lost jobs or their houses. Many of those lucky enough to have a job haven't seen a raise in four years. So it is quite shocking to wake up to the news that we have paid $500,000 to Mr. Jensen (in addition to the $185,000 he got annually) to leave his job after only four years.
Of course the CMC board will decline comment on what really happened between it and Mr. Jensen based on a confidentiality agreement. However, if Mr. Jensen did indeed resign to his job, why does he have to get a severance package? It was his choice.
If Mr. Jensen was let go because his actions were jeopardizing the college, he shouldn't be rewarded with a severance package.
I request that the CMC board be transparent about this issue and be accountable on why this happened. If they made a mistake hiring Mr. Jensen, they should be more careful in the future. There is a lot at stake when they choose somebody who in the end isn't a good fit. And since mistakes happen, they shouldn't risk this amount of taxpayer dollars in a contract.
Another expense left behind by Mr. Jensen that taxpayers will have to pay for is the lawsuit over the SourceGas compressor station.
Now may be the last chance to consider this question. Most Glenwood Springs residents should know by now that the City Council has already decided to support Grand Avenue for Highway 82. So the only way to bring the question to a vote is to bypass the council with an initiative.
Have readers ever heard of an initiative? Probably not, unless you are a lawyer, or you have participated in the Mock Trial program at Glenwood Springs High School. An initiative bypasses the council, and requires an election on one of the proposals on the initiative.
This action would require someone devoted to the cause, who had the energy or assistance required to accomplish the goal. At present, the time to accomplish this seems to end March 21, 2013, when CDOT and city officials hope to sign an intergovernmental agreement formally adopting the access plan of CDOT.