I am writing in regards to a recent article in the Steamboat Today, about CMC's upcoming survey to the community. I would like to bring to the community an issue that I feel all community members should be aware of as they fill out their survey. I have recently learned that CMC will be doubling its fees for many community programs beginning with summer classes in May.
I understand that these price increases will affect ongoing community classes such as art classes, physical activities and others where community residents enroll semester after semester. I am a long-time participant in these community programs and also a property taxpayer.
I have supported CMC with a 3.997 mil levy on my property taxes for 25 years. I also have been a community participant of many of these programs for 24 of my 25 years in Steamboat.
I feel that the community is being unfairly singled out for price increases, compared to the price full-time students pay for similar classes. I would like to make it clear we as a community, carry the college with our mill taxes and should not be penalized by the college or asked to carry any more burden than we already handle. This tells me and our community that we are not valued as much as the out-of-town, full-time transfer student body when we, in fact, monetarily carry the school.
It seems to me that the focus of the college has changed from that of a community college to a transfer school. This is a misjudgment by CMC of the importance of community support in the continuation of the college in Steamboat Springs. This community support has been critical for the survival of the college in the past, and I believe is just as critical right now.
I strongly believe the local college administration should consider the ramifications of their price increases before proceeding. Just a hypothetical thought, what if we recall our mill levy assessment? I don't think losing community support is worth the effort of doubling community program fees. I urge all community members who will be filling out your CMC survey on Wednesday night, to voice your questions and requests for fair measures in the cost of CMC tuition.
We pay enough to live in Steamboat. Don't take the option of reasonably priced community education from us as well! Thank you!
Steven J. Schibline