Craig city councilor presents petition for vote of no confidence against CNCC president
Colorado Northwestern Community College President Ron Granger’s leadership came into question once again Monday at the Moffat County Affiliated Junior College District Board of Control meeting in Craig.
Former CNCC employee and current Craig City Council member Brian MacKenzie presented the board with a petition signed by 29 Moffat County voters — signatures were unverified at the time of the meeting — declaring “no confidence” in Granger.
A recent meeting with the director of the Colorado Community College System drew multiple state senators and representatives to Craig to discuss the future of the campus.
“The community leaders were not impressed with that meeting,” MacKenzie said during public comment. “We left with no action plan whatsoever. It’s almost like they came up here to appease the people of Craig and that’s not going to stand. We want action up here.”
MacKenzie said community leaders were not invited, or given a voice, in the hiring of new Vice President John Anderson and called that a “slap in the face,” before presenting the petition for resolution.
“If you feel that’s not enough signatures, I’ll go back and get 1,000 signatures from this community,” MacKenzie stated. “A lot of leaders are on that list and I’ll tell you, we’re fed up, we’re done. We want action up here and we’re not going to take it anymore…I’m tired of being the red-headed stepchild from Rangely. I want action for this community.”
MacKenzie said he has a committee in place examining the college’s financials and submitting Colorado Open Records Act requests for information about salaries, benefits and expenditures.
“We’re trying to see if this campus would be sustainable working by itself or working with Colorado Mesa (University) or Colorado Mountain College. The status quo is not going to continue any more.”
Board chair Mike Anson told MacKenzie he needed to have the information in advance to add it to the agenda, to which MacKenzie said the city council might get it first.
The petition comes after a 2-3 “vote of no confidence” in Granger’s leadership from the five-person board in April 2018. At the time, Board of Control Treasurer Andy Daniels described the college as “rudderless” in an email to then-college system President Nancy McAllin.
When the board didn’t move to act on the petition, MacKenzie stated, “The frustration level — the fact that you guys don’t seem as frustrated as those of us out in the community is pretty concerning to me.”
MacKenzie had not responded to a request for further information about the petition as of press time.
The college became part of the Colorado Community College and Occupational Education System in 1998 and became a member of the Colorado Community College System in 1999.
According to the college’s website, “the RJCD Board of Trustees and the MCAJCD Board of Control now only have the decision-making authority to administer tax dollars to:
• Continue no or low tuition for the taxing of district residents enrolled at CNCC
• Provide supplemental funding for current or future programs offered by CNCC
• Erect new or renovate existing facilities. Provide capital funding for equipment, including technology initiatives for CNCC
• Provide for operating expenses of any RJCD or MCAJCD owned facilities”
Following regular business, board member Zack Allen asked about “potential for a reach-out to Colorado Mountain College to see what that would look like and what they would be willing or unwilling to do.”
CMC’s campus closest to Craig is in Steamboat Springs.
MacKenzie said Craig’s mayor had reached out to CMC already, and said Sen. Bob Rankin has indicated to him that the idea of shifting control of the CNCC campus in Craig to CMC is “viable.”
Former Craig mayor and board of controls member Terry Carwile said such a change would necessitate a sponsored bill at the state capitol and probably a vote of the community.
“Since it’s been floated in the community as an idea, it needs to be communicated,” Allen said. “If it really isn’t a viable option we need to put it to rest.
The MCAJCD meets at 6 p.m. the third Monday of each month at the CNCC campus in Craig in the Cedar Mountain Conference Room (255).