Schools are a multimillion-dollar business and in the case of Maricopa Community Colleges, a multibillion dollar business. I have experience in budgeting, making sound business decisions and understand how important it is to not overspend while making the best use of the taxpayer’s money. I recognize which expenditures are necessary and which are "the way it has always been done". In my tenure on the Board we have for the first time in the history of the District reduced taxes and tuition. We have set aside 10% of our money and are using the interest on that money to pay off the secondary property tax and hope to never have to go out for a bond issue in the future. The District was formed 54 years ago, and this is the first time the trend to more government has been stopped and sound business practices have been put in place.
Why are you running for Maricopa Community Colleges Governing Board?
I want the sound economic practices we have implemented to be continued. We are providing the best education possible while eliminating unnecessary costs. We are doing a great job of training our students for careers. We have a new program in nuclear plant operation in conjunction with Palo Verde Nuclear Power Plant. As their work force enters retirement, we are training their replacements. We have one of the most outstanding nurse training programs in the country and I want to continue with the expansion of that training. I want to continue with innovations and new programs in order to meet the needs of future students.
Do you support decision to eliminate faculty meet-and-confer and replace it with another process?
Arizona law forbids government from engaging in collective bargaining. I fully support the end of the process of "Meet and Confer" which is indistinguishable from collective bargaining. A new process has been put in place which will give all employees a way to communicate with the administration and keep us out of trouble with the State Attorney General in the area of collective bargaining.
Do you support or oppose the district’s decision to eliminate junior college football?
Yes, I support the Chancellor's decision to eliminate the football program. Insurance companies are run by smart people who see the need for greatly increased premiums to cover all future claims from football players for injuries received by playing football. You, the taxpayer and owner of the community college district, cannot afford the premiums necessary to field a football team. I love football but cannot justify the costs to the players in injuries and increased insurance premiums.
The Board wants to fund construction projects from operating funds instead of with general bonds?
I strongly support anything that eases the burden on taxpayers. With annual surpluses, unrestricted accumulated funds of between $400-$500 million and continued cost savings, Maricopa Community Colleges has sufficient money to fund on-going maintenance capital. Additionally, the continued increase in on-line education reduces the need for traditional classrooms and buildings. Further, we used to set aside 8% of our money for emergencies; now we are now setting aside 10% and using the interest earned to supply needs typically paid for with bonds. All our building and maintenance needs are being met with this new policy and we hope to retire the current bonds which will lower taxes and never have to ask for the taxpayers to approve bonds again.
Paid for by Jean McGrath Campaign. Authorized by Jean McGrath.