Let’s try some facts

Dear Editor, 

Once again, someone has to tell the truth. It’s obvious the "citizens for a responsible DC3" wouldn't know the truth if it hit them between the eyes! 

We received their letter slandering this family once again. The only truth I really see in that letter is in the 2nd paragraph. I quote "These troubles stem from years of poor leadership that cultivated an environment of self interest." To that I have to ask, who have been the trustees all  those years (10+) at the helm of this sinking ship? Their lack of interest is exactly why our college has financial issues, as well as public perception issues. Now they are trying to divert attention and make up fabrications, so the citizens of Ford County won't see the mess they have made.  

I want to tell you exactly how Carl Perkins works, as it is apparent that the current trustees have no clue how it works. As stated in the KBOR correspondence, I submitted my travel report and had my budget number on it. It was decided by the tech administrators to be potentially Carl Perkins allowable. This report was then submitted to the Business Office where the final decision was made. 

As to why I went. Any new courses for the tech programs must be recruited for it to be successful. Oh right, that’s my job! I took pictures and videos to prepare for the upcoming recruiting year. I also drove students from the bottom back to the top of the mountain to make another run in order to pass the course. Yes, there were several students the one time Justin and I went. Justin was there to finish the final test to be certified to help teach the course. You see in the tech division we try to make sure our faculty, as well as our students, are as highly qualified as possible. A concept the four names at the bottom of the letter apparently don’t comprehend.

While we may not have mountains in western Kansas, we do have wind turbines, grain elevators, multi level buildings and/or bridges being built or repaired that, unfortunately require emergency rescue. Hence the class. 

The DC3 tech division strives to make our students the most qualified candidate in the room. That’s how we measured success.

The citizens of Ford County deserve better

Rhonda Weil

Dodge City


Trustee’s memory is bad

Dear Editor,

I just have to comment about a letter in your paper last Thursday. My ole Daddy used to say that some people’s memory is just not as good as their imagination.

That’s what I think about that trustee’s memory of how the local college board had never considered selling or giving away the campus land on 14th Avenue. 

I went to two different meetings of the board when there was standing room only during presentations and discussions of the pros and cons of the idea. Lots of people who were there must remember it, too. City representatives were there with a big white board showing where everything could be placed. Not once, but several times we heard the words from the trustees that they would study it and give it consideration, while we were urging them not to do it. It took them several meetings to decide.

At one meeting (maybe more) people were sharing some 8- by 10-inch photos of the backs of some strip malls and abandoned buildings around town. It was pointed out that this is probably the way the front of the campus would look when the section at the very front had been turned into a 14th Avenue Mall. Some trustees and some city representatives took umbrage at our description of their intent to "sell the front porch" of the college. I am very happy that they decided  not to sell that part, but I am not convinced that it was quite so sweet and simple as he remembers it. I am glad to see in writing that he will never vote to sell 14th Avenue frontage property, though he reminds us that he cannot speak for the rest of the trustees.

Now, I would be even happier if the board would make sure any future decisions are based on actual appraisals of the land before they sell it, and not on the future estimated value of the property after something is finally built on it. There’s another old saying I grew up with: "You can’t taste the omelet if you ain’t got the eggs yet."   

Oh, well maybe nobody’s hungry anyway.

Ethel Peterson

Dodge City


Getting down to the roots

Dear Editor,

The crisis of leadership surrounding the Dodge City Community College trustees has concerned me greatly as of late.

I have come to understand for many the issues are very confusing and difficult to decide as to what one should do or who one should vote for. I am sure this plays right into the hands of those making the horrible decisions at DCCC so please allow me to distill this down to the root issue which I have not seen in print thus far.

Throughout all of these controversies which have beleaguered DCCC, what has been the common thread and influence which has never been mentioned? Simple: it is the influence of Merrill Conant MD and Morris Reeves EdD. It is these two who are the nexus of all of the erroneous and bungled decision-making.

Many would like to wildly point fingers at current and past college presidents for culpability. Don Woodburn comes to mind as well as current president Harold Nolte. Controversial decisions with long-lasting ramifications have both been made under these two presidents. Whether it was the dome which was supposed to be built with purely donation and grant money but instead property tax payers were yet again shouldered with this massive financial burden. The surreptitious removal of the Ford County scholarship benefit to Ford County students to which these same trustees lied on public TV proclaiming it still existed whilst college deans looked on confused. The luckily failed attempt to dissolve DCCC with the FHSU takeover. The helicopter program (which is under federal court probe) that isn’t even in Dodge City but instead in faraway California and Arizona! Finally the insidious attempt to sell off DCCC public property for mere pennies on the dollar in the hope of luring a hardware store on to the same premise.

The commonality of course has been Reeves and Conant throughout all of this. Everything has done so under the careful design of the Reeves and Conant cartel. Indeed, both past and present college presidents have only done what Conant and Reeves have dictated. One must remember these college presidents only serve at the "pleasure of the board." This is clearly stated in their employment contracts.

Each and every one of these controversial and botched decisions has been made under the shadow of Reeves and Conant. Even the hiring of (Gary) Harshberger as a temporary trustee was made under the majority rule of Reeves and Conant. It is their influence which is directly responsible for all the ills plaguing DCCC.

Ironically, the campaign organization aiming to perpetuate the illustrious rule of Reeves, Conant, (and now) Harshberger, and (Kathy) Ramsour euphemistically blusters itself as the "Citizens for a Responsible DC3."

With all of these bad decisions to essentially undermine and destroy the success of DCCC I would hardly call that "responsible." This cartel relies upon the local citizenry to be ignorant of the issues in order to perpetuate their grip on power.

In order to have a truly responsible board of trustees at DCCC, first we must all vote in unison to dissolve this Morris Reeves and Merrill Conant cartel. These so-called highly educated EdDs and MDs have done nothing but bring shame, chaos, and ruin to the once proud DCCC. In one resounding stroke at the ballot box, let us all vote to break this regime which has strangled DCCC for far too long! Vote for Korbelik, Weil, Hammond and Reichenborn.

Michael Mah

Dodge City


Tired of it all yet?

Dear Editor

Are you tired of it yet? Dodge City Community College is your college. You are paying plenty for it! You are paying for the day-to-day upkeep and all other day-to-day operating expenses. So, why are you being kept in the dark on so many important issues that the college is now facing? Why does the present board of trustees have so many executive sessions? Why shouldn't you know that the are several lawsuits filed against your college? These lawsuits are part of the public record. The most damaging was filed in Arizona and may cost the college many millions of dollars. A grand jury is being seated in Arizona to investigate the possible misuse of funds concerning the helicopter program at DCCC. Why did Mr. (Gary) Harshberger and most other members of the board of trustees not want you to know? The answer is because they are culpable and responsible for this fiasco and they are up for re-election.

I am very much in favor of economic development but the land giveaway by the trustees was ridiculous. There is a piece of ground right across the street from the college, Mr. Cunningham has 3 acres for sale on the bypass, and the Kirbys have several acres for sale just down the road on 14th. I challenge anyone to ask these landowners to sell their ground for $167 per acre.. Tell these landowners that it’s for economic development and that the business being built there will employ many people. When they stop laughing long enough to give you a per acre real price or real value for their land, on the busiest streets in Ford County, you will finally fully understand why some people are upset over the decision by the trustees to give away your land.

At USD 443 the BOE checks the bills every month. That’s never done by the DCCC trustees. How can you possibly know how the taxpayers’ money is being spent if you never check the bills? Are funds being spent by the right people for legitimate and necessary purposes? Who knows? Not the present trustees that’s for sure.

Why isn’t the college reaching out to the large number of band, orchestra, vocal music, artistically talented and academically superior students just across the street at DCHS? Why aren't they reaching out to those same students in other Ford County and area high schools? Unless classes are kept interesting and academically challenging, whether in academics or technology, we will never be able to attract our area students to DCCC.

Look folks, you can sit around and complain about DCCC. You can vote the incumbents back in and get more of the same, or you can clean house and elect four new members to the board of trustees. I believe that the voters in Ford County have a clear choice on November 7th. Let’s fix this mess!

Dan Reichenborn

Dodge City

DCCC trustee candidate