Vada Hermon isn’t happy with some candidates running for the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees.

Hermon is DCCC vice president of operations/finance and has been the go-to person at the college for budget information for many years. According to Hermon — and state law — the college must have a balanced budget each year.

However, advertising in the Dodge City Daily Globe talks of a $26 million debt. Two letters to the editor in today’s edition also mention this debt.

The figure is true, but taken out of context.

"When you get a mortgage, you don’t have to pay it off right away," Hermon said. "You budget for it, understand what you have to pay each month for 30 years.

"Our debt — projects we’ve undergone which we budgeted for and made sure the funds would be available — is part of our yearly budget.

"Our budget each fiscal year must be balanced. It’s debt, but it’s planned for debt."

A majority of the debt — about $14 million — is related to bonds for the college dormitories.

"We got bonds to pay for the two new dorms and refurbishing the older one," Hermon said. "Everyone knew why we were doing it."

Other debt relates to the Student Activities Center.

"The sad thing is Bill Hammond understands this," Hermon said. "He worked at Garden City Community College and knows about budgets.

"He knows we have to be balanced each year and the debt — while listed in a yearly audit — must have funding behind it to be approved."

Hammond brought copies of the audit to the Daily Globe on Thursday afternoon. The 2016 audit does include the more than $26 million in debt, but he did not address the mandated balanced budget.

"The growth of this debt has gotten out of control," Hammond said. "I went in, got a copy of the audit, and it’s there in black and white."

"The college is in good financial shape," said Dr. Harold Nolte, DCCC president. "We’ve got money set away for an emergency and Vada does a great job making sure we are where we need to be.

"It’s discouraging people would take numbers out of context like this."

 

To contact the writer email rbluhm@dodgeglobe.com.