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Steamboat Springs In the past four years, Colorado Mountain College’s seven-member board of trustees has overseen the implementation of the community college’s first bachelor’s degree program, the construction of new campuses and an ongoing expansion of the Alpine Campus in Steamboat Springs that is expected to open a new 60,000-square-foot academic facility in July.
The eight candidates running for a seat on the board this year hope to help ensure the college system continues to grow in Colorado communities during the next four years.
Trustees do not earn a salary for their service, and they oversee policy decisions with CMC President Stan Jensen.
Routt County voters will weigh in on the following contested races:
District 2: Garfield County
Incumbent CMC board President Stan Orr, who lives in Glenwood Springs, is running against challenger Kathy Goudy, an attorney from Carbondale.
Orr owns an association management company called NonProfit Resources and said Tuesday that he would like another term on the board so he can work to enact policies that will strengthen the relationship between CMC campuses and the communities they reside in.
He also said he was proud to preside over the construction of new campuses as well as the implementation of CMC’s first bachelor’s degree programs during his first term.
“I’ve learned a lot in the last four years, and I think I can continue to make a good contribution to the college,” Orr said Tuesday.
Goudy, who previously has taught community college business law courses, said that CMC’s new bachelor’s degree program is valuable but that she doesn’t want it to become “the horse that pulls the cart.”
“We also need to maintain the community college as a community college and not compete with the four-year, state-funded universities in our state,” she said.
District 4: Summit County
Richard Hague, a retired banking and financial services manager from Breckenridge, is running against Robert Taylor, a former Summit County manager and college professor, for an open board seat in Summit County.
Taylor said as a trustee he would join others in pushing for CMC to add new bachelor’s degree programs throughout its seven campuses.
“There will be further efforts to get bachelor’s degrees going in the fields of teaching and nursing, and that is something I would like to be a part of,” he said.
Hague said as a CMC trustee, he would support policies that ensure the college offers courses that connect students with the local industries of the mountain resort communities they live in.
“We already have a very rich variety of certified programs that include emergency medical certifications, ski resort maintenance and hospitality that are very relevant to the places our (CMC) campuses reside,” he said. “That relevancy is important to me and so is keeping those classes affordable.”
Hague or Taylor will replace departing trustee Dick Bateman, who is term limited.
District 5: Routt County
In Routt County, former Steamboat Springs City Council President Ken Brenner is running against design-build contractor John Fielding.
Both candidates have said they support the college’s expansion toward Lincoln Avenue in Steamboat as well as its launch of a new bachelor’s degree program.
Brenner said Tuesday that his experience on the Steamboat Springs City Council would benefit the CMC board, and his first action as a trustee would be to develop a PowerPoint presentation the board can use to show the community how substantial the college system has become in the state.
“The college is a big player and one of our best employers,” he said. “We need to look at how far it has come in the last 10 years and what it could be 10 years from now.”
He said he wants to work to strengthen the Alpine Campus’ relationship with Routt County’s public school districts by supporting the dual-enrollment program that allows high school students to earn college credit at CMC.
Fielding said he’s running because he wants to harmonize the relationship between the city of Steamboat Springs and the Alpine Campus.
“Things are still very, very tenuous, and the path we’re on is not harmonious and will create difficulty for the college and the city because of the abandonment of an access road” at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue, Fielding said. “Somebody needs to step up and do something about it, and that’s what I intend to do.”
Last year, he distributed a petition supporting the expansion of the Alpine Campus and asked the city to endorse a proposal to construct a secondary access road to the college at 13th Street and Lincoln Avenue.
At a candidate forum last week, Fielding said as a trustee he would propose that all students at CMC be required to take courses in American citizenship, substance abuse and English comprehension.
District 6: Lake County
In Lake County, Patricia Chlouber, a retired teacher who serves on the Colorado Charter School Institute’s board of directors, is challenging retired Air Force Major Wes Duran, who is seeking his second term on the board.
Duran, a former director of finance at a U.S. Air Force Base in Los Angeles, said he brings valuable economic experience to the board. He serves as the board’s treasurer.
“When I first applied for the position four years ago, I felt I could be a service to the college,” he said. “Frankly, I feel I have been.”
Duran said he wants to continue to oversee CMC’s implementation of new bachelor’s degree programs and the expansion of its campuses.
Chlouber, who has served on Lake County’s Board of Education and previously worked for the U.S. Department of Education, said as a trustee she would focus on improving the college’s partnerships with community organizations.
“My vision for CMC basically is for it to expand in learning and leadership and improve its partnerships with the communities where they are,” she said.
She said she would like to see CMC’s bachelor’s degree program expand to offer degrees in health care and education.
To reach Scott Franz, call 970-871-4210 or email scottfranz@SteamboatToday.com