CMC board candidates explain their qualifications
Candidates for the only contested seat on the Colorado Mountain College board of trustees both touted what they see as their unique perspectives in wanting to serve the special college district for the next four years.
“I have a good handle on some of the needs in the community that a lot of other people don’t see,” said incumbent Kathy Goudy, who works as a criminal defense attorney in the 9th Judicial District.
That helps her to understand the benefit of having classroom facilities in multiple locations around town so that someone who can’t drive, perhaps because of a drunken-driving conviction, has access to an education opportunity, Goudy said.
Or, maybe it’s providing job training for someone who doesn’t speak English, or offering language classes so that they can learn English, she said.
Jon Warnick, who is challenging Goudy for the District 2 (eastern Garfield County) seat on the six-county special college district board in the Nov. 3 mail-ballot election, is a longtime member of the CMC Foundation board and now the college’s board of overseers.
He says he would bring a “business perspective” to the board, having worked 30-plus years for IBM.
“I think I am uniquely qualified to help [CMC President] Carrie Hauser and her team make CMC the most student-centered college in the nation,” Warnick said.
Otherwise, Goudy and Warnick agreed on some of the issues facing CMC.
Each said they support an initiative that’s also on the ballot, Question 4D in the CMC district, asking voters to allow the college to eventually be able to partner with other public and private entities to provide broadband services.
Goudy called it a “safety” as well as “educational” issue for the college.
Both also said they support CMC’s foray into four-year degree programs, while still maintaining a strong focus on two-year and technical degrees and lifelong learning opportunities.
“We are still a community college, which means we provide programs that meet the needs of the community,” Warnick said.
The four-year program areas, including teaching, nursing, business, were “only logical” to meet those needs, he said.
At the same time those programs are beneficial, Goudy said she would like to see the college offer two-year degrees that students now have to go elsewhere to obtain, including construction and ranch management.
Goudy and Warnick also both said they will work to keep tuition low for students who want to attend CMC.
Goudy noted that she was in the minority on the board when the last tuition hike was approved for 2013. Because district taxpayers are already supporting CMC, they or their children should benefit from “negligible or even free” tuition, she said.
“It’s my firm belief that no child in our district should be prevented from entering CMC for financial reasons,” he said.
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Rifle’s CMC campus is closed today for a water main break.