Gillette College Board of Trustees Candidate Questions: Round 2

Gillette College was just ranked among the top 10 community colleges in national survey.
Gillette College (File Photo)

Good afternoon Gillette! Below are the responses to the second round of questions sent by County 17 to each individual running to serve on the prospective Gillette Community College District Board of Trustees. Each candidate received the following questions:

  1. What about your experiences in public service, or relatable field, makes you feel qualified to oversee an entire community college district and Gillette College? (limit 75 words)
  2. Expanding the Gillette College nursing program has been mentioned by several candidates as one of the things they would advocate for if elected. How do you plan to accomplish this without increasing the financial burden on the college and the community? (limit 150 words)
  3. In your own words, please describe a mill, how they are assessed in Campbell County, and how many mills you believe Gillette College would need to operate as a standalone community college district. (limit 250 words)
  4. If you could travel to any fictional world, where would you go and why? (limit 50 words)

The responses published here are presented as they were submitted to us with as little editing as possible. We at County 17 feel our readers deserve to know who they are voting for without making any candidate sound better than they really are. Some responses were cut for space.

Editors Note: Question number four was intentionally asked in an attempt to show our readers each candidate’s human/humorous side. 

_____________________________________________________________________________________

Ryan Allen

  1. While not as extensive as some of my fellow candidates, I do have board experience.  I currently serve on the board for the Gillette College Booster Club, and previously was on the board of the WPX Energy Political Action Committee.  I’m familiar with board operation and what is expected of the members.  I’m a local business owner with the drive and initiative to assist in building this board, and making it successful.
  2. Nurses play a critical role in the healthcare community, and our needs are not currently being met with the availability of qualified graduates.  For this reason, I’m also supportive of trying to expand our current program.  Increased enrollment in the nursing program will bring in additional tuition which has the ability to fund a portion of the expansion.  There may be areas that can be cut or streamlined from a funding perspective in order to allow for continued growth.  Without being privy to all the operating costs associated and seeing the areas that will need an increase, I think it be premature to forecast additional ways to fund the expansion.  It’s possible that from the outset we may not be able to expand in order to keep the financial impact on the college and the community to a minimum.  In that case we’ll need to keep it on our radar and review accordingly as the situation changes so we are ready when it is feasible.
  3. In simple terms, a mill is a property tax.  The county assessor sets the assessed valuation of the county on a yearly basis.  Currently the assessed valuation of Campbell County is around $3.4 billion dollars.  This makes 1 mill equivalent to $3.4 million dollars.  Based on what I currently know regarding the operating costs, and other income supporting the college, we need to fund around $8.5 million dollars via the mill levy.  This would require the board to set the mill levy for the new district at 2.5 mills in order to fund the college.
  4. I would go hang out with the Starks in Game of Thrones.  I can assure you that I’m not as skilled at sword fighting as Jon or as shifty as Aria, but I’m sure I could hold my own assuming I got to bring weaponry from the 21st century.

 

Frank Stevens

  1. I believe my business experience of 45 years – operating my own business; an active member of Campbell County; serving as legal counsel for public boards – is experience that will be valuable to me as a member of the board of trustees.  I have previously served as a private college trustee. I believe, therefore, my experience will assist me in working as a team with other trustees and administration to determine the direction of the college.
  2. Determining the needs of the Gillette College nursing program will be a job for the new trustees and administration.  Clearly, the nursing program has been a key program of the college that has benefitted Campbell County.  If there is a need to expand the program, the cost will be part of the decision the trustees will need to consider.
  3. A mill is a financial measure used to determine taxes.  Technically, it is one one-thousandth of a dollar.  A mill is $1 in property tax levied per $1000 of a property’s assessed value.  Taxes levied are determined by Wyoming Statute, by the authority of governing bodies such as the County Commissioners, and other boards with taxing authority.  Based on the current assessed value of Campbell County, the estimates of a viable budget for the District that I have reviewed, would require 2 to 3 mills.
  4. Declined to respond

 

Nick Jessen

  1. I have served on a number of boards that were responsible for the management, maintenance , and promotion of the organization.   I served on the Gillette Golf and Country Club board at a time when Gillette was in a decline and we had to make big cuts and raise dues to meet basic requirements.   I was President of Indian Hills Homeowners when we needed to re-side the whole complex.   It cost about $20,000 per unit and a lot of the 168 homeowners didn’t have the cash to pay for the improvements.
  2. As a member of the Gillette College Board of Trustees I feel that our biggest job is to provide the education to fulfill the needs of the community and the industrys in the area.. Gillette College has an outstanding Nursing Program.  At the present time we aren’t able to provide a slot for all the applicants , nor provide nurses for the local hospital.  How do we pay for it?  Once the Board is in operation, we will look at all the programs we have,  if some on them are under used or not part of our overall goals we will cut them and use the money for programs we need.   As with any organization there are always places that money can be saved.  Once we expand the program  it will bring in more money and the base costs of the program will not increase.   It will be the job of the board to respond to the needs and wants of the community,  to fulfill the needs all avenues must be explored.
  3. A mill is one tenth of a cent on each dollar of assessed valuation.  A mill levy is an alternate term for property tax rate.  The mill levy is multiplied by the assessed valuation the the property.  The mill rates are limited by law.  The mill rate for the college district is limited to 4 mills.Each year the county assessor sets the valuation of the property in the county,  The various boards (County Commissioners, School Board, Hospital Board, Cemetery board College District Board etc) then set their budget and assess the amount of mills, up to a maximum allowed by law,  they need to operate for that fiscal year. At the present time, based on the projected budget of the Gillette College and the assessed Valuation of Campbell County, it will take between 2 and 2 1/2 mills to operate the College.
  4. I would go to the game of thrones,  I want to see how the build the wall

 

Maggie McCreery

  1. I have served on the Campbell County Public Health Board. I presently serve on the Second Chance Ministries Board helping transition prisoners back into society and serve on the Gillette College Foundation Board.  I know Robert’s Rules of Order; I have reviewed and approved budgets of the boards on which I have served and have participated in conflict resolution.  When I have served on any board I have committed to serving to the best of my ability.
  2. I believe in expanding the nursing program to fit the need of our community. When and how the expansion is done would depend on being an independent college versus being part of Sheridan College.  Given that we become an independent college district I would review what we have right now and ask the parties involved (teachers, students, Campbell County Health and the community) as to their goals.  Then I would see where adjustments with classes, instructors and online classes could be made without increasing the cost initially.  The cost will be a factor as to how quickly expansion is done.  I do feel that expanding the nursing program should be done in an orderly way so classes are offered that will benefit students and not be a financial burden.  The present nursing program is excellent and needs to continue.
  3. The word “mill” is from the Latin word “millesimum” meaning “thousandth”. A mill is one one-thousandth of a dollar. A mill levy is the tax rate that is applied to the assessed value of a property. When related to property tax, a mill is equal to $1 of tax for $1,000 of assessment. The county, the city of Gillette and the town of Wright have mill levies that are used to pay for public spending and is an obligatory payment to the government.  There are also special districts within the county that are authorized to levy and/or assess additional taxes for improvements. The County Assessor’s office is responsible for sending notices of assessment to property holders within the county.  The assessment includes real estate and personal property (farm and ranch equipment, heavy equipment, etc.). The Gillette College District would be authorized to a mill levy.  The mill levy is part of the finances required for the college.  I think that 2.5-3 mills would need to be assessed as a part of the finances to fund the college.
  4. I would choose Rohan, the kingdom of horsemen in Middle-earth. After reading The Hobbit, my college roommate gave me the Trilogy of The Lord of the Rings which I read during semester break the year I was studying to take my M-CAT (Medical College Admissions Test).  It helps that I have Rohan relatives.

 

-- Advertisement – Story Continues Below --

Olin Oedekoven

  1. My 33-year military career culminated with my appointment as commander of the Wyoming Army National Guard where I lead an organization of nearly 2,000 personnel and managed a $90M annual budget with $500M in capital construction projects. My doctoral dissertation focused on comparing the public’s expectations for domestic support with the military’s capabilities. I currently serve on university advisory boards and have supported Gillette College in several capacities for about 15 years.
  2. Last year, the College turned away nearly 100 qualified applicants to the nursing program because of limited capacity. Local and regional demand for nursing graduates exceeds supply, today and for the foreseeable future. We can improve capacity through new and expanded partnerships (e.g., UW and CCH) and external funding is also a possibility (e.g., building upon the current $500,000 nursing program grant). Additional resources may be needed to address future program expansion if demand continues to exceed supply. Expansion must be done in partnership with local and regional employers so that the community is informed, engaged, and supportive of such efforts.
  3. A mill is $1 per $1,000 in property valuation. The only people/organizations who pay property taxes are those who own property. Property taxes are typically deducted from a person’s or organization’s income taxes. Extraction businesses (oil, coal, and gas) are taxed on both their property (trucks, buildings, equipment, etc.) at the industrial rate (11.5%) and taxed on their production at the production rate (100%). Residential, agriculture, and commercial property are taxed at 9.5%. Thus, a $1,000 industrial property valuation is taxed annually at $1 * 11.5% = $0.115) and a $1,000 residential/commercial/agriculture property valuation is taxed annually at $1 * 9.5% = $0.095. One mill on a $300,000 home is $300 * 9.5% = $28.50, which is what is shown on the Assessor’s Office property tax calculator. The estimated budget for a fully independent Gillette College District is between $15M and $16M. Tuition and fees generate about $3,400,000 based on current enrollments. The College receives about $1,300,000 from BOCHES and about $1,000,000 in grants and other sources such as the Gillette College Foundation. The mill levy would need to cover the balance. Based on $3,400,000 per mill in Campbell County, 2.5-3.0 mills would be sufficient. The mill levy would start in July 2022. For the remainder of this fiscal year, Gillette College would operate under its currently approved NWCCD budget.
  4. Middle Earth. I loved reading Tolkien’s books when I was in high school, and I periodically re-read the series. I also enjoyed the movies. The triumph of good over evil by a diversity of talents appeals to my sense of teamwork, collaboration, and optimism in the goodness of people.

 

Robert Palmer

  1. -Thirty years of voluntary service on the Gillette College Advisory Board, twice elected Chairman. Strong familiarity and involvement with the Wyoming Community College Commission, Wyoming Legislature, Wyoming Association of Community College Trustees, and national Association of Community College Trustees. Professional career, retired County Administrative Director. Comprehensive knowledge in the preparation and administration of publicly funded budgets, financial management and auditing. Demonstrated experience with building effective partnerships and collaborative working relationships.
  2. The need for health care professionals, and particularly Nurses, continues to grow. The Gillette Community College District is well positioned to address this need, with positive impact to the College and County. Gillette College has a stellar reputation for graduating skillfully qualified Nurses, and their test scores are historically ranked very high. By doubling the enrollment to sixty-four students, from the current thirty-two, we can better address demand, reducing the burden on local health care organizations to recruit and relocate Staff from outside the area. This equates to an overall increase in student headcount, with additional tuition and fees. The outstanding partnership with CCH and the State of Wyoming has effectively and efficiently provided funding for Nursing Faculty, and this will continue. Our existing facilities can easily accommodate expansion of the program; and the budget proposed for Gillette Community College considers funding for the expansion of necessary programs, including nursing.
  3. A mill is the levied amount a property owner pays, in tax dollars, for every one thousand dollars ($1,000) in assessed valuation; one (1) mill is $0.001. Property in the state is assessed in three classes for tax purposes as a percentage of fair market value. Wyoming Statute § 39-13-103 identifies these (3) classes of property: Gross product of minerals and mine products valued at 100%; industrial property valued at 11.5%; and all other property, real and personal, at 9.5%. In each of the twenty-three Wyoming Counties, including Campbell County, the County Assessors establish property assessment rolls each January, the Board of Commissioners establish the total mill levy for each local taxing authority based on their budget requests from within the respective district boundary, and County Treasurers distribute collections to the authorized government taxing entity. According to the Wyoming Department of Revenue 2020 annual report, the average total mill levy for Campbell County including the county, city, town, school, hospital, and special districts was 62.177, second lowest in the state. For fiscal year 2021/22, the assessed valuation of Campbell County is approximately $3.4 billion, therefore one mill equals $3.4 million. A residential or commercial property owner with a property valued at $250,000 would have an estimated tax amount of $59.38 per year based on 2.5 mill, or $5.00 per month. The forecasted Gillette College budget with the current and projected County assessed valuation is more than sufficient to presently operate the new community college district at approximately 2.5 mills.
  4. First, there are many awe-inspiring and magnificent areas in our state, country and around the globe that I have yet to experience; educational, historical, and spiritual places that would be my initial choice. That said I would select Shangri-La, a mythical location known as a paradise on earth.

 

Alison Ochs Gee

  1. My legal experience will be useful hiring the new College President, creating policies and structure for a new Gillette College. As a Board member for numerous nonprofits I have managed annual budgets of hundreds of millions of dollars.  As a business owner I have experience leading organizations and will use this experience to responsibly lead the new Gillette College in a fiscally responsible manner, while inspiring our leadership to do great things for our students and community.
  2. It will be important to work with our community partners to determine what expansion of our nursing program would look like and how we could serve our students differently. We have a lot of medical facilities around town that may be willing to work with Gillette College to share training opportunities and we need to explore those relationships.  Additionally, it will be important to evaluate the current programs offered at our College and see what our students and our community think are important.
  3. A mill is a property tax – if you own property in Campbell County, you will pay property tax based on the value of your property. For example, if you own a residential property in Campbell County worth $100,000, you will pay $9.50 for each mill assessed on your property per year.  If you do not own property in Campbell County, you will not pay a mill levy.Based on the projections provided to the Wyoming Community College Commission, I believe an independent Gillette College could operate on 2.5 to 3 mills.
  4. I would travel to Hogwarts of the Harry Potter book series so that I could meet Dumbledore and help fight evil alongside Harry Potter and his schoolmates.

 

Joy Beattie

  1. I am not a perennial board member. This is my first time stepping out into the public service realm. I am a concerned taxpayer, parent and community member. My occupation as a physical therapist requires decisions based on facts not feelings. I know how to set and follow a budget. I strive to be respectful of those that do not share my opinion and work with them to reach a common goal.
  2. We must first look at getting the current nursing program as well as other programs accredited before there can be an expansion of courses. Once Gillette College is accredited, expansion of the nursing program will initially have increased financial expenses with the increase of instructors and equipment required for adequate education. This expense will be readily covered by the increase in nursing student enrollment. With the current waiting list of nursing student applicants, this expansion would be a quick return on the Gillette College’s investment.
  3. A “mill” is a property tax that is assessed annually. Campbell County assess in $100,000 increments. The average home in Gillette is valued at $220,000. 2 mills on the average home are at $41.80/year or about $3.50/month. 3 mills on the average home are at $62.70/year or about $5.23/month. The estimated budget for Gillette Community College is at 2.5 mills. Please go to the Campbell County Assessors webpage to calculate the exact amount that will be assessed on your property should Gillette Community College become independent.
  4. The House of Elrond in Rivendell. I have wanted to see this peaceful, healing setting since reading Lord of the Rings Trilogy many years ago.

 

Larry Smith

  1. I believe I have a wealth of experience to serve as a trustee. I’ve served on several local boards, including the college, as well as Campbell County Weed & Pest District Board. I am currently President of the Wyoming Weed & Pest Council. With all of these positions, I have had to manage budgets, employees and work with the public. As an active member of our community, I interact with professionals from many different services and industries.
  2. I believe expanding the nursing program can be done, and is necessary for our community. If the board decides this is one of its priorities, additional conversation may be needed for means of funding as healthcare fields of study are costly. Possibilities could be other contributors such as health care agencies to assist with teaching positions, soliciting private donors, establishment of scholarships and endowments to help with costs. The board, CEO and teaching staff may need to work with community leaders in the field to reevaluate and restructure current programs and classes for efficiency. Higher enrollment will bring an increase in fees and other sources may be needed, such as federal grants. Gillette College has a reputation for educating and placing quality nursing students into the workforce so we need to continue building on that asset. Investment in the nursing program will yield a true benefit to our community.
  3. A mill is a property/production tax, levied on residential, commercial, agricultural, industrial and mineral extraction. In Campbell County a mill is assessed in $100,000.00 increments. Mills are assessed annually to fund schools, special districts and other public entities. Currently, the Campbell County Commissioners estimate the assessed value of the county to stabilize around 3.6 billion for the next few years. With that being said, 1 mill = 3.6 million. Looking at the Gillette Community College District proposed budget that was submitted to the Community College Commission, I believe the trustees will need to assess between 2.5 to 3 mills to fully fund an independent Gillette College. Additional revenues will come from tuition and fees, BOCHES, research and grants.
  4. I would travel to the fictional world from “The Good Dinosaur.” In my opinion, there’s nothing more beautiful than the animated landscapes of Wyoming, Yellowstone and Montana, except for the real deal, of course.

 

Joshua Dillinger

-- Advertisement – Story Continues Below --
  1. Any effective board should be built with a diverse group, the more backgrounds and different perspectives brought to a board creates a stronger board able to lead through any situation. My background working in higher education and as an educator brings a unique perspective to the board no other candidate brings.
  2. This idea has been brought into the campaign from the community, the questions about the nursing program have been asked from the start of the campaign, highlighted in the candidate forum, and now brought to light here again. This question highlights how critical it is that we split into our own district and bring local control to our College. The role of a community college is to reflect the needs of the community, it needs to be willing to build programs and audit programs as the community grows. If the nursing program has garnered this much conversation then it is most definitely a program worth looking into, from there the size of the program can be decided based off potential enrollment, needs of the community and surrounding region; all of this can undoubtedly be done in a fiscally responsible manner.
  3. A mill is a tax assessed based on the value of property, in Campbell County it is assessed at one-thousandth of one dollar meaning that you pay $1 for every $1,000 in property value. The value of your property is assessed by the County Assessor’s Office and then your Mill is added and you are presented with your property tax. The tax for the college is paid annually within your property taxes, I would encourage everyone to go look up what this would add to your taxes for your property using the calculator on the Assessor’s page of the county website. As I have stated before I believe it would take around 2.5 mills to allow for an independent college and don’t see more than three full mills being levied.
  4. I would travel to Hogwarts from Harry Potter so that I could teach at Hogwarts, I have always enjoyed that series and specifically the school. I am not sure what I would teach but I would most definitely also coach quidditch while there.

 

Anne Ziegenhorn

  1. My public service experience is limited. While I was teaching in Alliance, NE, I was a member on the Red Cross Chapter of Box Butte County and part of my board work was being the swim director to coordinate swimming lessons for the county and also went through training in disaster preparedness. Since I have been in Wyoming, I served two year on the United Way of Campbell County and I currently a board member and president of the Wright Community Assistance in Wright.
  2. I believe at some point the nursing program should be expanded but it isn’t something that would be done immediately. There will be other pressing matters to get accomplished. As with an addition or expansion, there are always costs involved. You would have to pay for more instructors and more equipment. But before expanding, I feel that all programs should be evaluated and see if they are all being utilized and if not, then maybe programs need to be downsized. And maybe being downsized, the cost of expansion would be balanced.  For the time being, finding a president, setting the mill levy and  getting accredited is top priority and will be priority for the first year or two.
  3. I understand the formula on how the figure taxes when a mill levy is assessed. On a 300,000 dollar property with a 3 mill levy attached would be 85.00.   The more your property is worth then you will be paying more taxes. In my home state of Minnesota, mill levies are how you build new schools.  If the bond issue doesn’t pass, then the kids would get a new school. Which is different than how districts get schools built here in Wyoming. Unfortunately, everything costs money  and nothing is free.  In my opinion, I don’t think we need to assess at 4 mill but then we aren’t eligible for state funding or money to build buildings on the future.  At this point I don’t know what the answer is and once the vote passes snd everything is in place, then the dirty stuff (money) has to be addressed.
  4. Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory because I love candy!!!

 

Kevin Anders

  1. The desire to do the best job possible. I have served several years on the Rockpile Museum Board and the Campbell County Library board. I am a member of several professional societies including: ASME -American Society of Mechanical Engineers, SPE – Society of Petroleum Engineers. I worked with youth in the Campbell County 4H program for 15 years.
  2. The college curriculum will need to be looked at as a whole after consulting with the community and industry. Once we see where we are, we can then make a plan about going forward.
  3. By definition, a mill is one-one thousandth of a part (millimeter, milliinch, etc.). For tax purposes a mill is 1/1000th of an assessed value, i.e. $1 for every $1000 of assessed value. Estimates that I have seen are at about 2.5 mills. Since the district will not be taxing the full 4 mills allowed, they will not receive state funding, so this has to be made up locally. This is included in the 2.5 mills.
  4. A magical world mimicking Florida where all people generally have some magical talent. If that didn’t work out, Terminus, the home of the First Foundation. People who were gathering knowledge and continued with technological innovations despite the collapse of galactic society.

 

Brian Worthen

  1. I am running for College Trustee because I bring a financial background and would apply my understanding of running a business at a profit.  The first few years of an independent Gillette College will require negotiations with Sheridan and involve the hiring of a President and financial officer, items that have an effect on Gillette College’s finances.  Attention to these hires and the way Gillette College financially operates will be crucial.
  2. I have discussed the nursing program with past and present Advisory Board members, and the common feeling is the nursing program is one of our best.  The nursing program provide graduates to Campbell County Health, one of our largest employers in the County.  The nursing program has its own Advisory Board of local medical professionals, a group that provides input and feedback to keep our nursing program performing well. Louise Posten, our Director of Nursing, runs a great program.  As for expanding the program – that is a financial decision to be made after seeing the data.  How many graduates are placed in the community and elsewhere, how many graduates could be placed if we expanded the program?  I would love to delve into this more if given the chance.
  3. A mill represents a dollar paid by a taxpayer in the County for every $1,000 of assessed value on real property.  Real property is the land owned by the taxpayer and includes assets permanently attached to the land.  For most of us, real property is a lot and a house.  Our County Assessor’s office produces annual valuations based on Wyoming Statutes.  In 2021, the assessed value of the County was determined to be $3.4 billion.  Dividing 3,400,000,000 by 1,000, you get to $3,400,000 in tax for every mill levied.  Historically, the outside funds required to operate the Gillete College have been around $4.6 Million.  In other words, two mills would fill the void left in outside funding, and still provide extra for the hiring of a President, financial officer and administrative staff.
  4.  I’m a huge Star Wars fan, and the planet Hoth would nicely offset the 100 degree temperatures this week.

 

Ivy McGowen-Castleberry

  1. I have a substantial background in serving on boards and providing board governance training. Boards and individual members need to remember that the board is responsible for high-level decision-making, such as establishing policies, setting the strategic vision for the organization, and providing direction and oversight to the CEO, not day-to-day operations. My knowledge and experience in board governance have equipped me with the skills to help the board navigate the challenges of establishing a new college district.
  2. I strongly agree the nursing program at Gillette College is extremely important. As the mom of an ICU nurse, I recognize there is a general shortage of nurses across the country. Nursing programs everywhere have similar challenges: The number of students the program can accommodate is a mere fraction of the number of applicants. Part of the challenge is finding qualified nursing instructors. Colleges and universities often cannot pay qualified nursing instructors the equivalent of what the nurses make working in a healthcare setting, which exacerbates the issue. While I have limited knowledge of all the nuances involved in delivering a quality nursing program, I would like to explore the possibility of non-traditional semesters that would accommodate multiple phases of the program to run concurrently. I also support seeking additional funding sources such as grant funding to support expanded program capacity.
  3. A mill is a monetary unit equivalent to 1/10 of a cent (multiplier expressed as .001). A mill is how much money someone pays for every thousand dollars of taxable property they own. Mill levies are applied to the assessed value of the property, not the market value. The Campbell County Assessor’s Office establishes the assessed value of real and personal property, then assesses the taxes based on the current mills levied by the various tax districts. By statute, tax districts, such as cities, counties, hospital districts and college districts, can levy up to a maximum number of mills. Once the tax district has prepared its annual budget and determined the number of mills necessary, that information is provided to the county assessor, who then sends the anticipated mills for all tax districts to the State Board of Equalization for final review and approval. Upon approval, the county treasurer then collects the tax based on the assessed value and the number of mills levied. Currently, property within the city limits of Gillette and Wright, the total mills assessed are 68.313 (60.313 for property outside city limits). For example, the assessed value of a property is $20,000 (the approximate assessed valuation of a $200,000 property), is $1,366 (.068313 x 20,000=$1,366). Based on my research and cautious contingency calculations, budget projections indicate two-and-half to three mills will adequately fund our college. The resulting additional mills would be approximately .0708 to .0713, an increase of around $90 per year.
  4. While I love getting lost in the fictional narrative of a good book, I’m partial to the real world. Instead of daydreaming of fictional worlds, I make an effort to learn more about the histories and cultures of the various areas of our globe. Understanding human history and experiences provide a better lens for addressing complicated issues we experience in our world, and that is where I prefer to focus my time and attention.

 

Jed Jensen

  1. I have had experience working in the academic administration of NWCCD which gives me knowledge of the district and the academic programs at the college. I have served on program advisory boards of two additional colleges.  I have served on the general and the executive board of Western Mining Electrical Association.  These experiences, combined with my past employments and general life experiences will allow me to be a valuable, contributing member of this board.
  2. One of the truisms of this and any college is that every program has a cost associated with it. Some programs do cost more than others.  So, the expansion of any program or the creation of any new program will have a cost associated with it.  This would mean that new programs or expansion of existing programs will cost the district more unless something else is cut to make room for that in the budget.  A college administration will have to have a finger on the pulse of the entire community to understand the needs and desires of the community with respect to the college and the offered programming.  All of those things will have to be reflected in the prepared budget that is presented to the board for approval.  The beauty is that a locally elected board will be able to be responsive to the needs and desires of the community.
  3. In this context, a mill is one-thousandth of a dollar or in other words it is one tenth of a cent. When a mill levy is set by a government entity that levy amount is multiplied by the assessed valuation of the property (that work is done by the county assessor’s office) to determine the amount due.  In Campbell County, there are currently mill levies set for several entities in the county.  For instance, the general county budget, the hospital district, the weed and pest district, the school district and others.  Based on current projected budgets, the college district would need to levy somewhere between 2 ½ and 3 mills to meet the projected, estimated budget.  That is very similar to the hospital district which currently has a mill levy set at 3 mils.
  4. Sorry, I am not much help with this question. I do not spend my time in fictional or fantasy worlds and so I do not know of any that I would want to travel to.  I can certainly list several places in our current world where I would enjoy spending time.

 

-- Advertisement – Story Continues Below --

Daniel Baker

  1. In my current position at Prairie Eagle Mining, I have to work with a team of individuals whose job is to meet financial goals.  I have dealt with budgets well over 200 million dollars where the difference in profit or loss can be less than a dollar a ton. I understand that compromising and listening to your fellow trustees is what will make a good team that works well together.
  2. I am in favor of expanding programs, such as the nursing program because that is what the community is asking for.  However, the timing of this expansion needs to be determined once the budget is established and we have accredited programs.  Therefore, I don’t see it happening right away.  The revenue and other sources of income like the mill levy can/will fluctuate, so we must be diligent in where we spend.  We can institute internships and develop partnerships with local business, including the hospital to help develop these programs.  That should lessen the burden of funding on expanding programs.  Other funding resources such as tuition, private gifts, BOCHES , and grant programs should also be explored to increase the college’s income.  At the end of the day, we might just need to save for a year or two in preparation of expanding a program.
  3. A mill levy is a tax that funds public services. For the college, the citizens of Campbell County need to decide if they want to have their own district. The State requires that to have your own district, the citizen must agree to tax themselves up to 4 mills.  A mill is $.0001 paid in taxes for every $1000 a residential property owner has in assessed property value.  Therefore, if a homeowner has a property that has a fair market value of $500,000, their assessed property valuation is $47,500, which would bring their tax of one mill to $47.50 annually. For property that is used for industrial use, the calculation is the same, however the assessed value calculation is different. For residential it is 9.5% of your fair market value, and for industrial, it is 11.5%.  For mineral companies like coal mines, they are taxed at 1/1000 of total mineral revenue. Therefore, if a coal mines’ total revenue for a year is $200,000,000, they would pay $200,000 per mill.  That is why the bulk of the mill levy revenue comes from mineral companies. From what I understand, it appears that the Gillette College can be operated with a mill levy of around 2.5.  This is considering all other revenue streams such as tuition and fees, private donations, BOCHES and grants.   The mill levy would supply approximately 8.5 million dollars which is about 54% of the total operating costs of the college.
  4. Not sure how this question pertains to being a trustee, but if I could live in a world where the Wyoming Cowboys are winning national championships, the Browns are super bowl champs, and my wife and I  get to golf Augusta National every day, life would be good.

 

Josh McGrath

  1. Being on various boards here in Gillette (GC Advisory Board, Chamber, Economic Development & YES House Foundation) have given me experience on a multitude of levels. From balancing budgets to capital fundraising and working with a CEO for the betterment of an organization. This plus running my own business through various economic times, yet having the willingness to listen to new/different ideas are what help me as a board member.
  2. I believe the nursing program is only one example of the programs that could be expanded or I believe we need to look at programs that are useful and needed. If we are going to expand them then can we do it at a cost neutral expense. Can we justify by bringing in more students who want that program, that in doing so, it off-sets the expense, the expense from adding faculty and perhaps building space.
  3. A Mill is a tax rate based on the assessed value of a property. Campbell County’s current assessed valuation is $3.4 Billion, so one mill in CC is $3.4 Million. My expectation, based on early budget projections once fully accredited, is that Gillette College’s budget would be somewhere $12-15M. So for example purposes let’s use $15M. Based off that you have about 33% income from Tuition and Fees. You also have the BOCHES half Mill which then is $1.7M. With other grants your TOTAL income could be around $7 Million. So you are left with $8M in expenses which would need to be covered by local appropriations (property mill levy). So then if you take the $8M/$3.4M (currently 1 mill) you have 2.35 mills needed to operate the college at that budget projection.
  4. Not my best forte, But I am going to go Guardians of the Galaxy. I mean I thought Star-Lord was a cool cat that listened to great music and listen Groot and Rocket seemed to get into some interesting and fun stuff.

 

Tracy Wasserburger

  1. I have had experience in public service by serving on a variety of boards which include local, state and national levels.  Because of this experience and training on board service I feel I bring not only decorum to this Board, but also would be able to contribute through past experience in regulation and Board responsibility.
  2. First, if this is a cited assessment needs of the community and college, then I believe the BOT should let leadership present how this could be implemented and to fiscal implication.   I would advocate for creativity in our approaches for navigating options such as alternative shifts/weekends  as well as adjunct faculty if needed.  We have a state of the art patient clinical simulation center and I would like to see its utilization maximized to decrease faculty and site burdens.   Alternative clinical sites need continued exploring so that the student can have real time experience as well, which I professionally believe is of utmost importance.
  3. By definition, a mil levy is the “tax rate” that is applied to the assessed value of a property. One mill is one dollar per $1,000 dollars of assessed value.  Roughly 85 percent of Campbell County revenue is assessed from local industry while 15 percent is paid by Campbell County residents through their property taxes according to the records of Campbell County.  As I have previously stated, with the data that can best be analyzed through Wyoming College Community District and along with the current budget of Gillette College, it is projected at this time that  the new Gillette Community College would require 2 -2.5 mils.  Since our independence would allow us true transparency in the budget, I believe that a solid administrative team and BOTs could adopt a fiscally responsible budget that meets community needs.
  4. The fictional world that I would visit is the Land of Oz.  Specifically I feel that the 3 main characters that Dorothy meets during her travels symbolize  three main virtues in life, and the virtue that each character represents is lacking in that particular character,  In turn, this indicates that each special quality  must be worked for.

 

Jacob Dalby

Declined to respond

 

Jason Linduska

Declined to respond

-- Advertisement – Story Continues Below --

 

Nello Williams

Declined to respond

 

Kimberly Dalby

Declined to respond