Dear Friends and Neighbors,

First, don't let any of this deter you from sending your students to Dodge City Community College. It's a great school with a really good and dedicated faculty.

If your student will put in the time and effort, he/she will do well at DCCC. That being said, there are issues at DCCC that are frustrating, at least for me, as a trustee and taxpayer. And, I'm not saying my opinions are always correct but some of the stuff we deal with defies common sense.

DCCC still has a helicopter program. It is located in several locations in the Southwestern United States, mainly the Phoenix area. The program is NOT offered in Kansas and has NO Kansas students. In fact, the program has NO students at all, None. THE DCCC HELICOPTER PROGRAM HAS NO STUDENTS!

The program costs DCCC, you the Ford County taxpayer over $30,000 a month. The Veterans Administration (V.A.) is billing the college for about 33 million dollars. The college is disputing the charges and is in litigation. There is an ongoing grand jury investigation in Arizona concerning the DCCC helicopter program. The attorney's fee is $575 per hour plus expenses. That doesn't include expenses incurred by DCCC employees, trustees, and administrators for travel to and from Arizona and Washington D.C.

Several times, I have suggested, that DCCC needs to get out of the helicopter program and use the more than $300,000 we are pounding down the Phoenix rat hole, each year, for the benefit of Ford County/DCCC students, taxpayers, and faculty.

Some others have suggested we grow the helicopter program. So, instead of spending $300,000 per year, we would be spending $600,000. ALL of that would be spent out of state with NO benefit for Ford County or Kansas students. CAN ANYBODY SAY, SAINT MARY TRUCK DRIVING SCHOOL?

And, while DCCC has NO students in Arizona we are spending over $200,000 there each year for two salaries. Yet, we can't find $71,000 in our budget to give our 50 member on campus faculty, who teach many hundreds of students, an increase in salary. I have proposed we do away with the helicopter program all together. Fire those Arizona employees who have NO students.

Stop renting space and paying for utilities in Arizona. Use the more than $300,000 we will save to pay on campus faculty, hire new faculty positions, make improvements on campus, pay down our huge debt, or cut taxes. Let's at least use Ford County taxpayer money for the benefit of Dodge City Community College and Ford County.

Questions I/you still need answered: 1. How much is our TOTAL expense each year for salaries including all perks, expenses, and fringe benefits.

2. What is the total amount the college has spent on travel and travel related expenses to and from Phoenix and Washington D.C.?

3. What is the total amount the college has spent on attorney fees and attorney related expenses?

4. How much revenue has DCCC received from the helicopter program this academic year?

5. How many students are enrolled in the helicopter program this academic year?

6. How much does the V.A. say we owe them?

7. Are there any other locations, besides the Phoenix area, where we offer the helicopter program?

8. If so, does DCCC have certifications from those states departments of education to offer the helicopter program?

9. Do we have certification from the Arizona department of education to offer the program there?

Dan Reichenborn, Trustee, DCCC