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Editor's note: Robert Taylor is running against Richard Hague for the District 4 slot on Colorado Mountain College's board of trustees.
As a longtime resident of Summit County, I was excited to see that the District 4 trustee position was opening up. I have been a fervent supporter of CMC since 1976, when my wife and I moved to the mountains and I taught English courses in both Leadville and Breckenridge. I worked for the schools setting up an alternative education program, but the burden of my time until 2001 was spent working for Summit County, where I started as Human Services director, moved into an assistant manager position and then served as Summit County manager for more than a decade. Serving as a trustee for CMC will allow me to serve both the community that I have come to know and love and the college that has become such a vital force in our mountain communities.
I served on many policy-making boards at the local and state level, including the Summit County Leadership Forum, the Juvenile Justice and Delinquency Prevention Council and the Colorado West Regional Mental Health Board of Directors. As a manager, my focus was on creating community partnerships. I always enjoyed working with commissioners who valued fiscal prudence but were willing to develop innovative programs.
I was overjoyed to see CMC move in the direction of awarding some bachelor’s degrees. I have met many people who have been deterred from continuing past their second year in higher education because of the difficulty and cost of traveling to the Front Range to pursue a four-year degree. From recent conversations with college officials, I understand that CMC would like to add a bachelor’s degree in education to its degree offerings. I will work hard to make that happen.
I appreciated the fiscal intelligence with which the college approached its development. Their building up of a hefty reserve fund has been much to their advantage when building new facilities, such as the successful campus facility at the gateway to Breckenridge. College officials have worked hard to develop partnerships with their local communities. As an “independent” community college, CMC needs to continue its careful strategy to the development of new programs and facilities while continuing its commitment to strong local partnerships. I believe my experience in finance and program development would prove valuable. As a retired person, I have the time and energy to dedicate to helping build CMC into a model mountain college.