Vail Daily letter: The reason for my vote
Recently, the administration of Colorado Mountain College has approached the board with bleak projections for the college’s financial stability in the future and I, as a trustee, was requested to impose higher tuition costs on CMC’s students. While I did not vote for the local-student increase, the split-board decision increased the tuition per credit hour to help head off financial difficulties. While tuition increases will bring more dollars into the college, there is also a need to review the costs that the college pays in order to be accountable to you, our taxpayers. The faculty and staff at CMC are the lifeblood of the institution and deserve every penny that they get. They are the reason why CMC is such a success for almost 50 years (we celebrate 50 years of providing opportunity to our communities in 2017). So, my focus is going to be on finding areas where costs can be reduced that shall not have an impact on your success as students and communities.
The CMC Foundation does incredible work helping students gain financial access to college through such programs as the Clough Fellowship and the Davenport Legacy. The people behind the foundation, and the philanthropic volunteer foundation members who give freely of their time and money, are terrific and never waver from their mission to provide educational financial aid and enrichment of education for Colorado Mountain College students.
However, in the fiscal year ending June 30, 2014, your taxpayer dollars exceeded the contributions made to the foundation. In fact, taxpayers funded the foundation with $892,658 and only $695,789 was used for student scholarships after administrative overhead. This means that CMC could have provided an additional $196,869 for scholarships that year if the college would have directly funded scholarships.
Seeing that CMC is facing financial restrictions, funding the foundation through taxpayer and tuition dollars is not in the best interest of CMC students and our communities. Therefore, I am going to vote to not fund the foundation this year for its annual payment of $1 million. I am hoping that you, as taxpayers of CMC’s mill levy that provides 68 percent of CMC’s budget, voice your opinion to CMC. Let them know that the nonprofit CMC Foundation needs to seek donations to fund their wonderful organization through philanthropic donors and not use taxpayer and tuition money.
Mary Ellen Denomy