GLENWOOD SPRINGS – On the Nov. 5 election ballot, voters will see five seats up for election, two contested, for the Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees.
The following candidates submitted verified petitions by the deadline and reside within specified boundaries in one of five trustee districts:
- Trustee district 2 (Roaring Fork School District RE-1 boundaries) – Mary Nelle Axelson and Marianne Virgili are running. This seat was vacated by Kathy Goudy, due to term limits.
- Trustee district 4 (Summit School District RE-1 boundaries) – Current trustee Patricia J. Theobald is running unopposed.
- Trustee district 5 (Steamboat Springs School District RE-2 boundaries) – Current trustee Bob Kuusinen is running unopposed.
- Trustee district 6 (Lake County School District RE-1 boundaries) – Bob Hartzell and Christine Whittington are running. This seat was vacated by Pat Chlouber, due to term limits.
- Trustee district 7 (Eagle County School District RE-50J boundaries) – Current trustee Chris Romer is running unopposed; he was appointed to the board in 2018 and is running for the remaining two years of the four-year term that began in November 2017.
The trustee seats in CMC districts 1, 3 and 7 are scheduled for election in 2021. Those seats are currently held by, respectively, Charles Cunniffe (Aspen School District), Peg Portscheller (Garfield County School District 16 and Garfield School District No. Re-2) and Chris Romer (Eagle County School District RE-50J boundaries).
The Colorado Mountain College Board of Trustees has seven at-large seats that are elected by all the voters in the CMC District, which covers all or parts of six counties. Board responsibilities include employing and evaluating the president, setting tuition and fee rates, approving the college budget, certifying the mill levy, working with the college president to develop a strategic plan, monitoring the progress of the institution and acting in the best interests of the college as required by statute.
One resident from each of the trustee districts listed above is elected to the board. Those who are elected serve four-year terms except that certain board appointees may be required by law to run for a partial term. The board usually meets on a monthly basis at locations around the district.
Voters to decide: Should Salida join the CMC District?
Also on the ballot will be the following language, which was approved by the CMC Board of Trustees at its Aug. 28 meeting: “Without increasing taxes to the current residents of the Colorado Mountain College District, shall the Colorado Mountain College District be enlarged to include property within the boundaries of Salida School District Number R32J?”
Currently the Salida School District is within the college’s three-county service area, but not its six-county taxing district. Residents living within the service area pay tuition of $170 per credit hour, while those living within the taxing district pay $80 per credit hour.
The lower tuition rate is because taxpayers within the CMC district pay a 3.997 mill levy that supports the college, a mill levy that has not changed in several decades. If the Salida School District were to join the CMC district, those taxpayers would pay that same mill levy. However, adding the Salida School District to the CMC district would have no impact on current taxpayers within the CMC district.