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Letters: 7D

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7D a non-partison no-brainer
Dear Editor:
As a new member of the Foundation Board of Colorado Mountain College, I continue to be impressed with the school’s leadership and the opportunities our local college provides the students and citizens of Garfield County and the Western Slope.
They include but are not limited to:
• Affordable credit hours and degrees;
• Professional training in services needed in the Valley, which include firefighters, classroom teachers, and nurses;
• Flexible programs for non-traditional students who must work simultaneously;
• Free college courses for local high school students; and
• Lifelong learning opportunities that enhance quality for both individuals and the towns in which they reside.
Unfortunately, the funding and programs at CMC are at risk due to no fault of their own. Last year CMC lost $2.8 million in revenue due to statewide funding formula within the Gallagher Amendment that presently benefits the Front Range and hurts our mountain communities. CMC expects to lose another $3.8 million in revenue in 2019, and undetermined further loses of revenue in future years, without a local fix to this statewide problem. YES on 7D provides the local solution.
The Western Slope deserves funding equality. A yes on 7D vote does not increase residential taxes; it will simply allow CMC to retain its current revenues and ensures our continued access to high quality, affordable education and workforce training here in our mountain communities.
Both candidates for State Representative this coming November support the amendment. How refreshing for all of us to come together for this non-partisan, critical issue!
Please support Ballot Issue 7D — for the good of the educational community and the students who will benefit and contribute to their quality of life and ours. Vote! Yes on 7D for CMC!
Kathleen K. Barger, CMC Foundation Board

Reasons to back CMC
Dear Editor:
We believe we should support Colorado Mountain College’s ballot measure and vote “yes” on 7D as a community. Without increasing residential property taxes, 7D will allow us to preserve CMC’s legacy.
• CMC was created as a locally funded college 50 years ago by a vote of 2–1, and it remains the only institution of post-secondary education in the communities it serves.
• CMC maintains the lowest tuition rates in the state and has the third most affordable bachelor’s degree programs in the nation.
• CMC is the primary provider of police officers, firefighters, nurses, early childhood educators, and hospitality workers in our mountain communities.
• CMC provides free college courses to more than 1,200 high school students in the mountain communities.
• CMC is a community asset that we cannot afford to have compromised by the impact of Front Range growth.
• CMC has served over 500,000 students since its inception 50 years ago.
• CMC offers each district graduating high school senior automatic admission to college and a scholarship to go with it.
For the past 14 years the amount we, as individual homeowners, pay to support the college is $32 per year per $100,000 of assessed property value. Through 7D, this rate may be maintained to keep the college financially sound into the future, ensuring that future generations of students have access to affordable postsecondary education in their local community. In addition, CMC trustees, elected officials, are responsible for ensuring that CMC is operated as efficiently as possible, keeping its costs at a level that is among the lowest in the nation.
Donna & Gino Rossetti

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