September 22, 2021

Evidence Based Wyoming

Wyoming politics, conservatively by the numbers

Updated: Gillette College Board Candidate Questions

25 min read

On July 11th, there was little information out on the candidates to fill the college board of the proposed new community district. I decided to seek information to help me and other voters make an informed choice.

To that end, I sent an email asking each candidate to complete a brief survey that should take anywhere between 15 and 30 minutes to complete. (At the deadline suverymonkey.com said that those who completed the survey took 45 minutes on average responding. To the candidates that did respond, I’m sorry it took so long. I failed in my efforts to not take so much of your time.)

What follows are the responses of the eight ten out of twenty-three candidates that responded to my email on July 11th. Of the ten that responded only seven completed the survey.

The survey has two kinds of questions, the first is the “did you do your homework” type, and the second consists of three policy questions: Do you support GCC offering four-year degrees?; Would you support sports at the college if they were solely funded with private funds?; and do you support the college NOT being a gun-free zone?

Email Request

Howdy <Candidate Name>!

First and foremost, thanks for taking the time to run for the college board.

I am excited to see the College come under the control of the citizens of Campbell County, despite the new tax. While I support the College, I have a variety of concerns for the new collegiate venture. Specifically, I want to ensure it is run in a fiscally conservative and responsible way.  Additionally, I also desire to see the College operate as part of the county community and not distinct from the county.

The purpose of this survey is to provide information to the voters of Campbell County so the best seven candidates will give the College the best possible start.  It is not to earn an endorsement or garner campaign contributions.  It is solely to provide information to the voters of Campbell County as information as possible.  I do reserve the right to comment on what answers I believe are the “correct” answers. 

The responses will be published on my website, EvidenceBasedWyoming.com.  I will forward the answers to the Gillette News-Record and other news outlets.

Please answer all questions by July 18th.  The survey itself is 14 questions, all of which require answers. The comment areas are limited to 100 characters, so be succinct!

Thanks for deciding to run for a seat on the board. It’s crucial for Campbell County.

Feel free to email me or call me at XXX XXX XXXX if you have any questions.

The survey can be accessed here: https://www.surveymonkey.com/XXXXXXXXX

N.B. THE SURVEY REQUIRES A PASSWORD: XXXXXXXXXXXXXXX

Regards,

Doug Gerard

Gillette, Wyoming

Response of Kevin L Anders

Q1

Candidate Name

Kevin L Anders

Q2

Candidate Email

anders@vcn.com

Q3

What was the assessed value of Campbell County in 2020 and 2021?

2020 4.24 billion dollars; 2021 – 3.4 billion dollars

Q4

How many mil-levies do you expect the College to need?

2.5

Q5

Do you understand how the proposed budget from the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was calculated?

  • Yes
  • Explain:
  • Budget is made up of faulty, staff, administration, facility maintenance and infrastructure improvements. Locally the retirement and health insurance for staff will need to be paid, rather than through the state. Budget is estimated to be between 12-15 million dollars

Q6

Do you believe the proposed budget will be sufficient?

  • Yes
  • Comments:
  • To continue at current levels. The board will need to look at current programs and community and industry needs. If changes need to be made, the budget may need to be changed.

Q7

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College district?

  • No

Q8

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College Building Authority?

  • No

Q9

Have you seen the audited financials of the Nothern Wyoming Community College Foundation?

  • No

Q10

Have you read the enabling bill for the community college?

  • Yes

Q11

Does the enabling bill for the community college have any problems that could cause headaches for the board down the road? Why?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • Issues for the separation of Gillette from NWCCD will need to be worked out if the Gillette College district is approved.

Q12

Sports at the College are a big issue, loved by some loathed by others. To help ensure the College succeeds at its core function of education, would you pledge to only allow sports at the College if funded through solely private means? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • Extracurricular activities are important for giving students a well rounded education. Sports are not the only activities that should be looked at and/or supported.

Q13

In his May 13, 2020 letter to trustees President of Laramie Community College, Dr. Joe Schaffer, opened his letter by saying, “I have been preparing institutional budgets for well over a decade now, but I can honestly say that never have I presented one that appears substantially balanced, yet with the fragility of a looming darkness of uncertainty such as we face right now.” In another letter from July 15, 2020 letter to trustees, he said, “In typical years, changes to the College’s proposed budget between your first reading and final approval are minimal. So much so, that I often simply modify my letter to the Board of Trustees to accommodate for these changes.” Do you expect 272 the new College to have problems? If so, what kind of problems?

  • Yes
  • What kind of problems?:
  • Not sure what problems you are referring to. All institutions have problems. They get worked through.

Q14

Do you support the community college offering four-year bachelor’s degrees? Why or Why not?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • It would be a good upgrade to Gillette College. The University of Wyoming has been the main method of getting a 4 year degree in Wyoming. Offering options at the community colleges can keep more students local and help control costs for those students.

Q15

Wyoming is a pro-second amendment state, and the law on the books sets the Wyoming Legislature as the only body that can impose limitations on where firearms are allowed. A gun-free zone is also a magnet for mass shootings. Do you support Gillette Community College allowing for the open and concealed carry of firearms by citizens according to Wyoming law?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • I support the right to have firearms. Some of the victims of mass shootings may have been saved if there were someone to shoot back. My own choice is to own firearms, but I do not carry them.

Response of Scott Clem

Q1

Candidate Name

Scott Clem

Q2

Candidate Email

scottclem@live.com

Q3

What was the assessed value of Campbell County in 2020 and 2021?

$4.2 Billion, $3.4 Billion

Q4

How many mil-levies do you expect the College to need?

between 2.5-3.5

Q5

Do you understand how the proposed budget from the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was calculated?

  • No
  • Explain:
  • The “Vote Yes’ campaign is projecting a $15,073,728 budget. I was not involved in those discussions, and so I am unaware what programs are or are not included in this number. The actual budget maybe more or less than what is projected currently.

Q6

Do you believe the proposed budget will be sufficient?

  • No
  • Comments:
  • The survey is forcing me to choose ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but the answer is I don’t know if the proposed budget will be sufficient. While we have a general idea of what it will take to operate our own independent college, the final number will depend upon a litany of other factors, including negotiated rates with Sheridan College while we transition and pursue our own accreditation, the number of programs we wish to offer, and inflation among other things. Given the reckless spending of Congress and the federal reserve, I suspect we will have record amounts of inflation for months and maybe even years to come.

Q7

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College district?

  • No

Q8

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College Building Authority?

  • No

Q9

Have you seen the audited financials of the Nothern Wyoming Community College Foundation?

  • No

Q10

Have you read the enabling bill for the community college?

  • Yes

Q11

Does the enabling bill for the community college have any problems that could cause headaches for the board down the road? Why?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • The survey is forcing me to choose ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but the answer is I don’t know. Agreements between Gillette and Sheridan will need to be made regarding the transition of students, employees, and other services, all based on actual demonstrated expenses. Such agreements will be reviewed by the Wyoming Community College Commission. I’m sure there will be areas of disagreements which will require negotiation. Furthermore, Gillette College will be relying upon Sheridan’s accreditation until Gillette College is fully accredited, a process that could take 5 years.

Q12

Sports at the College are a big issue, loved by some loathed by others. To help ensure the College succeeds at its core function of education, would you pledge to only allow sports at the College if funded through solely private means? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • I’ve made similar pledges in the past during my 6 years in the legislature, but with so many unknown factors I’m not not about to make an uninformed pledge here. For instance, right now the only sports program offered is Rodeo, which I believe is funded through public dollars, at least in part if not the whole. If private funds could not be secured, such a pledge would require me to get rid of the rodeo program, which I don’t intend to do, at least not without more information. I can say this, I intend to keep education, workforce development, and community economic benefit my primary focus. Having sports, for the sake of having sports, will not receive my support.

Q13

In his May 13, 2020 letter to trustees President of Laramie Community College, Dr. Joe Schaffer, opened his letter by saying, “I have been preparing institutional budgets for well over a decade now, but I can honestly say that never have I presented one that appears substantially balanced, yet with the fragility of a looming darkness of uncertainty such as we face right now.” In another letter from July 15, 2020 letter to trustees, he said, “In typical years, changes to the College’s proposed budget between your first reading and final approval are minimal. So much so, that I often simply modify my letter to the Board of Trustees to accommodate for these changes.” Do you expect 272 the new College to have problems? If so, what kind of problems?

  • No
  • What kind of problems?:
  • The survey is forcing me to choose ‘yes’ or ‘no’, but the answer is I don’t know. The question was, “Do you the new College having problems? If so, what kind of problems?” I’m not sure what you mean as I can’t quite understand what you’re asking the way it’s written. I can tell you this, there was a fair amount of political jockeying that went on during the process of adding a new district with the other community college districts. Adding a new district means more competition for them, something these other colleges, or the University of Wyoming, does not readily welcome. So is it surprising that a president of a competitor district would say something controversial to upset the apple cart in order to maintain the status quo? Not at all.

Q14

Do you support the community college offering four-year bachelor’s degrees? Why or Why not?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • I was a cosponsor of the bill that opened the way for community colleges to expand to 4 year degrees, despite the opposition that came from the University of Wyoming and Casper College. To offer such degrees also requires an accreditation process. I’m not in a position to state which programs should have 4 year degrees, but I definitely think it’s something Gillette College should strive for. This would be a benefit for existing students, and for the working class in our community who struggle with online courses or can’t afford to pack up and move to Laramie, etc.

Q15

Wyoming is a pro-second amendment state, and the law on the books sets the Wyoming Legislature as the only body that can impose limitations on where firearms are allowed. A gun-free zone is also a magnet for mass shootings. Do you support Gillette Community College allowing for the open and concealed carry of firearms by citizens according to Wyoming law?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • I’ve tried to end gun free zones in the state legislature. We’ve seen what happens when you disarm law abiding citizens. In such cases the only people who have guns are the law breaking bad guys. The result is horrifying. As a father of two teenage daughters, I would want my girls to be able to defend themselves against a perpetrator, whether it be a mass shooter or someone trying to take advantage of them sexually.

Response of Jacob Dalby

Q1

Candidate Name

Jacob Dalby

Q2

Candidate Email

Jacobdalby2022@outlook.com

Q3

What was the assessed value of Campbell County in 2020 and 2021?

$4.2 billion and $3.4 billion

Q4

How many mil-levies do you expect the College to need?

2-3

Q5

Do you understand how the proposed budget from the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was calculated?

  • No
  • Explain:
  • I wasn’t involved with their calculations

Q6

Do you believe the proposed budget will be sufficient?

  • No
  • Comments:
  • There is no way of knowing this will be completely new for us to say yes or no would possibly make liars out of us all

Q7

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College district?

  • No

Q8

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College Building Authority?

  • No

Q9

Have you seen the audited financials of the Nothern Wyoming Community College Foundation?

  • No

Q10

Have you read the enabling bill for the community college?

  • Yes

Q11

Does the enabling bill for the community college have any problems that could cause headaches for the board down the road? Why?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • We will have several issues to deal with until we have accreditation

Q12

Sports at the College are a big issue, loved by some loathed by others. To help ensure the College succeeds at its core function of education, would you pledge to only allow sports at the College if funded through solely private means? Why or Why not?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • I don’t believe tax payers should have to foot the bill to bring people from other states and/or country’s to play sports But I will say I’d be fine with sports and sport scholarships if it is ONLY for campbell county residents

Q13

In his May 13, 2020 letter to trustees President of Laramie Community College, Dr. Joe Schaffer, opened his letter by saying, “I have been preparing institutional budgets for well over a decade now, but I can honestly say that never have I presented one that appears substantially balanced, yet with the fragility of a looming darkness of uncertainty such as we face right now.” In another letter from July 15, 2020 letter to trustees, he said, “In typical years, changes to the College’s proposed budget between your first reading and final approval are minimal. So much so, that I often simply modify my letter to the Board of Trustees to accommodate for these changes.” Do you expect 272 the new College to have problems? If so, what kind of problems?

  • No
  • What kind of problems?:
  • I don’t understand the question completely so I can’t answer it

Q14

Do you support the community college offering four-year bachelor’s degrees? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • I’m for it but we need to sit back for 5-10 years and see what the future holds

Q15

Wyoming is a pro-second amendment state, and the law on the books sets the Wyoming Legislature as the only body that can impose limitations on where firearms are allowed. A gun-free zone is also a magnet for mass shootings. Do you support Gillette Community College allowing for the open and concealed carry of firearms by citizens according to Wyoming law?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • I have been the only person running that has spoken about this issue the whole time starting at the league of women voter’s I said I will do everything in my power to allow you to carry your hand gun on campus NOBODY’S second amendment rights should ever end at a college campus To add it in because nobody is talking about it I will also fight to my highest ability to be sure that there will never and I do mean never be any critical race theory teaching at our college

Response of Kimberly Glass Dalby

Q1

Candidate Name

Kimberly Glass Dalby

Q2

Candidate Email

Herefords.wy@gmail.com

Q3

What was the assessed value of Campbell County in 2020 and 2021?

2021 was over 3 B

Q4

How many mil-levies do you expect the College to need?

I believe it should need no more then 2 mil

Q5

Do you understand how the proposed budget from the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was calculated?

  • No
  • Explain:
  • I have no information to show what the projected programs would be. Or the cost to run it considering administration pay ect

Q6

Do you believe the proposed budget will be sufficient?

  • No
  • Comments:
  • If there is not a lower budget I believe some will continue to spend more and more. We still do not know what we will have to pay Sheridan for sure even will some are saying we won’t we know there is No Way to get under them without paying them

Q7

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College district?

  • No

Q8

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College Building Authority?

  • No

Q9

Have you seen the audited financials of the Nothern Wyoming Community College Foundation?

  • No

Q10

Have you read the enabling bill for the community college?

  • Yes

Q11

Does the enabling bill for the community college have any problems that could cause headaches for the board down the road? Why?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • We still have to figure out how much will be spent on the Sheridan deal as well. Also how much will President and ceo be paid?

Q12

Sports at the College are a big issue, loved by some loathed by others. To help ensure the College succeeds at its core function of education, would you pledge to only allow sports at the College if funded through solely private means? Why or Why not?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • A Community collegenis for education or training to get in and out and into work force or onto thr University. That is where the college student can go forward and play sports if they wish. I went to NWCCD no sports why? Again to gain training not play sports or socialize

Q13

In his May 13, 2020 letter to trustees President of Laramie Community College, Dr. Joe Schaffer, opened his letter by saying, “I have been preparing institutional budgets for well over a decade now, but I can honestly say that never have I presented one that appears substantially balanced, yet with the fragility of a looming darkness of uncertainty such as we face right now.” In another letter from July 15, 2020 letter to trustees, he said, “In typical years, changes to the College’s proposed budget between your first reading and final approval are minimal. So much so, that I often simply modify my letter to the Board of Trustees to accommodate for these changes.” Do you expect 272 the new College to have problems? If so, what kind of problems?

  • No
  • What kind of problems?:
  • Always a chance in issues between colleges and especially when competing for the lead dog position

Q14

Do you support the community college offering four-year bachelor’s degrees? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • Well perhaps years down the road. But not for a long time we need to focus on being a better community and community college first We have UW and as I’ve stated many time. I was able to get my Dbl BS via internet, teleconference and video. Now some courses need hands on I understand that but could take all courses here that would save students tuition and lodging.

Q15

Wyoming is a pro-second amendment state, and the law on the books sets the Wyoming Legislature as the only body that can impose limitations on where firearms are allowed. A gun-free zone is also a magnet for mass shootings. Do you support Gillette Community College allowing for the open and concealed carry of firearms by citizens according to Wyoming law?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • Because we the people have the right to protect our person and our property and others around us. I’ve heard of Criminal activity here on our little campus over the last few years. Sexual assault, physical assault and drugs although I pray not needed it’s better those who are safe and able to carry should

Response of Nick Jessen

Q1

Candidate Name

Nick Jessen

Q2

Candidate Email

nick@thunderbasinford.com

Q3

What was the assessed value of Campbell County in 2020 and 2021?

Wyoming

Q4

How many mil-levies do you expect the College to need?

2.5

Q5

Do you understand how the proposed budget from the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was calculated?

  • Yes

Q6

Do you believe the proposed budget will be sufficient?

  • Yes

Q7

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College district?

  • Yes

Q8

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College Building Authority?

  • Yes

Q9

Have you seen the audited financials of the Nothern Wyoming Community College Foundation?

  • Yes

Q10

Have you read the enabling bill for the community college?

  • Yes

Q11

Does the enabling bill for the community college have any problems that could cause headaches for the board down the road? Why?

  • No

Q12

Sports at the College are a big issue, loved by some loathed by others. To help ensure the College succeeds at its core function of education, would you pledge to only allow sports at the College if funded through solely private means? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • Until we have a functioning College under our control I would be unable to make a sound decision on sports in the college. Sports are a privilege not a right and need to come after academics. Sports weren’t the reason that this split came about. Sports were just the final cut that forced Campbell County to take control of their assets (the college was built and owned by CAmpbell County

Q13

In his May 13, 2020 letter to trustees President of Laramie Community College, Dr. Joe Schaffer, opened his letter by saying, “I have been preparing institutional budgets for well over a decade now, but I can honestly say that never have I presented one that appears substantially balanced, yet with the fragility of a looming darkness of uncertainty such as we face right now.” In another letter from July 15, 2020 letter to trustees, he said, “In typical years, changes to the College’s proposed budget between your first reading and final approval are minimal. So much so, that I often simply modify my letter to the Board of Trustees to accommodate for these changes.” Do you expect 272 the new College to have problems? If so, what kind of problems?

  • No

Q14

Do you support the community college offering four-year bachelor’s degrees? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • Not as the Gillette College, if we can facilitate students getting a four degree from the University of Wyoming I would support that. Our function is to give a leg up to continue on the a four year school, or get a trade to enter the work force.

Q15

Wyoming is a pro-second amendment state, and the law on the books sets the Wyoming Legislature as the only body that can impose limitations on where firearms are allowed. A gun-free zone is also a magnet for mass shootings. Do you support Gillette Community College allowing for the open and concealed carry of firearms by citizens according to Wyoming law?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • There is no reason for students to carry on campus, I support the second amendment, but there is no reason to carry guns on a campus.

Response of Josh McGrath

Q1

Candidate Name

Josh McGrath

Q2

Candidate Email

josh@erapriority.com

Q3

What was the assessed value of Campbell County in 2020 and 2021?

2020-$4.2B 2021-3.4B

Q4

How many mil-levies do you expect the College to need?

Around 2.5 if it were fully accredited in 2021. I feel it will be lower to start as there will be some state money from the FTE’s until that point.

Q5

Do you understand how the proposed budget from the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was calculated?

  • Yes
  • Explain:
  • Yes it was based off 2017-2020 budgets for GC which was submitted in the application to the WCCC. We then took those numbers for a projected 2022 knowing we would have to add in some costs such as IT, HR and covering benefits because we would not be assessing 4 Mills.

Q6

Do you believe the proposed budget will be sufficient?

  • Yes
  • Comments:
  • Yes again it was vetted very well by the committee. Also this would be based once fully accredited. I believe it will be less to start as we should be getting money for FTE’s.

Q7

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College district?

  • Yes

Q8

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College Building Authority?

  • No

Q9

Have you seen the audited financials of the Nothern Wyoming Community College Foundation?

  • Yes

Q10

Have you read the enabling bill for the community college?

  • Yes

Q11

Does the enabling bill for the community college have any problems that could cause headaches for the board down the road? Why?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • I actually believe it was written very well, also there is an amendment that was a bit vague. But I believe written that way so the newly elected trustees could have the authority they need in writing an MOU with NWCCD. It also opens the door that NWCCD MUST be transparent and show their actual costs.

Q12

Sports at the College are a big issue, loved by some loathed by others. To help ensure the College succeeds at its core function of education, would you pledge to only allow sports at the College if funded through solely private means? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • While I am certainly open to this discussion, I believe athletics are one of many paths that a student can further their education. I don’t care if it’s band, music, trades, science, math or athletics that help get a kid into college and get an associates/degree. This creates a better and productive person and a more diverse college & community.

Q13

In his May 13, 2020 letter to trustees President of Laramie Community College, Dr. Joe Schaffer, opened his letter by saying, “I have been preparing institutional budgets for well over a decade now, but I can honestly say that never have I presented one that appears substantially balanced, yet with the fragility of a looming darkness of uncertainty such as we face right now.” In another letter from July 15, 2020 letter to trustees, he said, “In typical years, changes to the College’s proposed budget between your first reading and final approval are minimal. So much so, that I often simply modify my letter to the Board of Trustees to accommodate for these changes.” Do you expect 272 the new College to have problems? If so, what kind of problems?

  • No
  • What kind of problems?:
  • I believe the board will be able to have a balanced budget. Certainly there are uncertain times in the mineral industry but like any business we must be flexible and ready for those changes.

Q14

Do you support the community college offering four-year bachelor’s degrees? Why or Why not?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • Absolutely, this again will allow us to offer more programs to students, increasing enrollment while hopefully not increasing expenses. This can only help Campbell County and Gillette College. Trying to do this as cost neutral program would be a great way to add value to our College.

Q15

Wyoming is a pro-second amendment state, and the law on the books sets the Wyoming Legislature as the only body that can impose limitations on where firearms are allowed. A gun-free zone is also a magnet for mass shootings. Do you support Gillette Community College allowing for the open and concealed carry of firearms by citizens according to Wyoming law?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • This is an interesting question. The law is the law and I am not here to make policy trying to override the law. I am certainly pro 2nd amendment and absolutely value that. I am open to this discussion and certainly am willing to have the discussion. There are certain places/institutions where firearms are & are not allowed. I think a person absolutely has the right to defend themselves but I also would want to see how the faculty, admin and support staff feels on this and would have to base my opinion on this.

Response of Anne Ziegenhorn

Q1

Candidate Name

Anne Ziegenhorn

Q2

Candidate Email

aziegenhorn@ccsd.k12.wy.us

Q3

What was the assessed value of Campbell County in 2020 and 2021?

2020 4.24 billion. 2021 3.4 billion

Q4

How many mil-levies do you expect the College to need?

2-3

Q5

Do you understand how the proposed budget from the ‘Vote Yes’ campaign was calculated?

  • Yes
  • Explain:
  • Gillette College has about 47% of the enrollment (from figures 2019-2020) of the NWCCD enrollment. So they used that amount for tuition and fees. Local monies, mill levy at 2.5, monies from boches, research and grants and other sources. That is the revenue anticipated. They added up instructor salary and benefits, student services, academic support, grants, operations and maintenance , institutional support and other expenditures

Q6

Do you believe the proposed budget will be sufficient?

  • Yes
  • Comments:
  • I believe it will be for now but if and after accreditation, expanding programs will cost more money.

Q7

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College district?

  • No

Q8

Have you seen the audited financials of the Northern Wyoming Community College Building Authority?

  • No

Q9

Have you seen the audited financials of the Nothern Wyoming Community College Foundation?

  • No

Q10

Have you read the enabling bill for the community college?

  • Yes

Q11

Does the enabling bill for the community college have any problems that could cause headaches for the board down the road? Why?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • As with change and separation, there could be issues down the road but in the end, we need to look at what is best for the students because they are the ones that are paying to attend college. They should be the number one priority in this.

Q12

Sports at the College are a big issue, loved by some loathed by others. To help ensure the College succeeds at its core function of education, would you pledge to only allow sports at the College if funded through solely private means? Why or Why not?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • It is just like any other college, it should be funded how it was funded before they were canceled two years ago. I feel that the sports programs will bring in more student/athletes and people into the county to watch and support the events.

Q13

In his May 13, 2020 letter to trustees President of Laramie Community College, Dr. Joe Schaffer, opened his letter by saying, “I have been preparing institutional budgets for well over a decade now, but I can honestly say that never have I presented one that appears substantially balanced, yet with the fragility of a looming darkness of uncertainty such as we face right now.” In another letter from July 15, 2020 letter to trustees, he said, “In typical years, changes to the College’s proposed budget between your first reading and final approval are minimal. So much so, that I often simply modify my letter to the Board of Trustees to accommodate for these changes.” Do you expect 272 the new College to have problems? If so, what kind of problems?

  • Yes
  • What kind of problems?:
  • As with everything “new”, there are always problems that we can foresee. Cost of education increases every year, so the cost trickles down to the consumers. I don’t think there is anyone involved in the process that doesn’t foresee issues but they will need to be addressed as they come about.

Q14

Do you support the community college offering four-year bachelor’s degrees? Why or Why not?

  • Yes
  • Why or why not?:
  • I hope at some point that the college could expand to offer four-year degrees. Is it something that will happen in the first three years, I doubt it. New ideas can be discussed after the college becomes accredited since that will be one of the top priorities.

Q15

Wyoming is a pro-second amendment state, and the law on the books sets the Wyoming Legislature as the only body that can impose limitations on where firearms are allowed. A gun-free zone is also a magnet for mass shootings. Do you support Gillette Community College allowing for the open and concealed carry of firearms by citizens according to Wyoming law?

  • No
  • Why or why not?:
  • This is such a touchy subject everywhere. I am not for guns and I am not against guns. To me, this is one thing in the beginning that we need to not worry about. Let’s get the college off and running on their own and then decisions on guns on campus can be discussed.

Refusal Response of Olin Oedekovin

Hi Doug,

As a wise old mentor of mine once said, “Everyone is entitled to their own opinions, but they are not entitled to their own facts.” Please explain what you mean when you state: “I do reserve the right to comment on what answers I believe are the “correct” answers”. How do you define “correct” and what types of comments do you envision making? Also, how will you tabulate the survey or is it your intent to publish each person’s responses separately? Finally, several of the questions you pose in the survey suggest that you have a specific agenda in mind relative to what you see as the “right” candidate for the Board of Trustees. In other words, is the goal of this exercise to essentially compare your beliefs to the candidate’s beliefs and then use that comparison as content on your website to target individuals who have different beliefs than yours?  

This all opens the door to what appears to be a one-sided debate and creates uncertainty in how you will report my responses. I’m happy to discuss the issues with you; however, I will not participate in a forum that mischaracterizes or otherwise distorts my responses for someone else’s personal benefit.  

Sincerely,

Olin

Olin O. Oedekoven, Ph.D.

Refusal Response of Robert Palmer

Good morning Mr. Gerard,

I hope this e-mail finds you well and enjoying the summer.

Thank you for the earlier e-mail and invitation to participate in your College Board of Trustees Candidate survey.  As you are aware, Candidates were also invited to participate in the League of Women Voters Forum, which can be viewed on Gillette Public Access, and to reply to questions previously posed by the Gillette News Record and County 17.  The Candidate responses have begun to be posted and will continue over the next few weeks by these respected and objective news sources.  I would invite you and other interested individuals to review the published answers, and believe they will address your inquiry. 

Doug, please take care and have a wonderful Wyoming weekend.

Robert P. Palmer   

Refusal Response of Traci Wasserburger

Hi Doug-

Thank you for providing me with the opportunity to participate in your survey as I seek a seat for Gillette Community  Board of Trustees if the voters move to have GCC become its own district.   Unfortunately your email catches me at a time during which we are moving our son’s family from NM to MN.   Therefore I respectfully have to decline participating as I am unable to meet the deadline.   

Thank you again for providing the opportunity.   

Sincerely,

Tracy Wasserburger

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