CMC Board election: District 5 candidate Ken Brenner |

CMC Board election: District 5 candidate Ken Brenner

Ken Brenner portraits
Tim Hancock |

Voters throughout the multicounty Colorado Mountain College district will choose four members of the college’s seven-member board of trustees this fall.

While trustees are chosen from specific areas, everyone in the college’s tax district votes for everyone. Since all of this year’s candidates are from other counties, the Vail Daily will provide a brief look at the people running for seats on the board.

Friday: District 2 candidates Kathy Goudy and Stan Orr.

Saturday: District 4 candidates Richard Hague and Robert Taylor.

Today: District 5 candidates Ken Brenner and John Fielding.

Participate in The Longevity Project

The Longevity Project is an annual campaign to help educate readers about what it takes to live a long, fulfilling life in our valley. This year Kevin shares his story of hope and celebration of life with his presentation Cracked, Not Broken as we explore the critical and relevant topic of mental health.

Monday: District 6 candidates Pat Chlouber and Wes Duran.

Name: Ken Brenner.

Residence: Steamboat Springs.

Occupation: Owner, Performance Sports Medicine; professional coach; adjunct faculty – Colorado Mountain College Alpine.

What prompted you to run for a seat on the CMC board of trustees?

I believe that I can help CMC become more fully integrated into our mountain communities. CMC has much to offer and will play an important role in the economic recovery for Northwestern Colorado. CMC can assist our K-12 public schools by increasing learning opportunities for young adults using dual-enrollment options. CMC can be a strong partner in our local economy by offering re-education and training for a 21st century workforce. CMC can be a leader in the effort to increase our telecommunications capacity and broadband infrastructure that nearly all residents and businesses rely on.

A strong public education system is the cornerstone of a great long-term economic development strategy. We are retraining our work force for tomorrow’s jobs. Most jobs for the new economy require a technology skilled work force. Providing that training is an opportunity for CMC.

I was on the Steamboat Springs City Council for eight years, served as president and also ran for the state Senate in 2008. Public service has given me a thorough understanding of how local government, schools, business and community can work together to solve problems.

What’s your opinion about the college’s recent move toward four-year degrees?

Northwest Colorado is very fortunate to have CMC’s four-year college opportunity to offer its residents. A baccalaureate degree is an important next step in the evolution of the CMC school system. CMC can continue to evolve by being a strong partner for public schools, business and local government as we recover from today’s struggling economy. Now mountain communities can boast that along with a great quality of life, they can offer a complete public education experience to attract our next generation of residents.

What does CMC need to do to keep college education affordable and attainable for district residents?

Colorado Mountain College addresses affordability with low tuition and by allowing students to stay at home and complete some or all of their college locally. My youngest son completed his first two years of college at CMC while living at home.

The CMC system is the best value in higher education in Colorado. It is on solid financial ground with virtually no debt, significant reserves (25 percent of the general fund), and I will work to keep it that way.

CMC has been responsibly managed in the past but will face the same challenges as everyone else as revenues will decrease with declining property tax and state support. I support the board’s past policy of having little or no debt and paying for new construction with cash. The college also has dozens of committees that are constantly reassessing the effectiveness of staff and programs.

In 2008, I knocked on over 26,000 doors in Northwest Colorado during my state Senate campaign. I learned much about our mountain communities and understand how important CMC is to the mountain communities. I believe there is opportunity to do even more.

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