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Why you should care about Maricopa County Community College elections

Multiple seats on the Maricopa County Community College (MCCCD) board are up for general election on Nov. 6, 2018. They are District 3, 4, 5, and an at-large seat.

While votes for governmental positions are being pushed nationally, school board votes are just as important.

Sherman L. Elliott is running against Marie Sullivan and Debi Vandenboom, while Ms. Johanna Haver is not running for re-election.

Mr. Augustine Barning is not running for re-election and will be replaced by Tom Nerini as the other two individuals have withdrawn from the Nov. 6 elections.

Ms. Tracey Livingston will pass her board seat to either Roc Arnett or Kathleen Ann Winn on Nov. 6.

Knowing what each of these candidates support and stand for is important for the legacy of our school. Electing the best candidate, relying on their decisions for MCC, is crucial to the future of the district.

It’s especially important this year as two notable decisions were made by MCCCD in the past year.

First, the vote to end meet and confer, which was a process by which the faculty could bargain with MCCCD to work through important decisions together.

Secondly, the vote to eliminate the football program in four schools Phoenix, Scottsdale, Mesa, and Glendale which is in District 4.

Meet and confer was suspended followed by a statement that the chancellor would figure out a more suitable solution as meet and confer was said by the MCCCD to be outdated.
There has been further speculation into meet and confer which can be found online, and as of yet, there has been no statement on a replacement for meet and confer.

As for football, the governing board has stated that due to budgeting costs and raised insurance premiums, they decided the best option was to eliminate the program.

Jean McGrath has served District 4 since 2014 and has said that she’s in agreement with the decision to eliminate the football program and to eliminate meet and confer. She is up for re-election and is running against Stan Arterberry.

Arterberry’s platform against McGrath emphasizes the importance of affordable tuition, student success, and fiscal responsibilities. With more than 35 years in education, Arterberry has spent the last 20 years as a California Community College CEO.

Regardless of which side you stand on for these arguments, it’s clear that these are important issues. They are issues that voters would be smart to research before heading to the polls.

Not only should voters be aware of the issues but they should also be aware of what the backbone of most MCCCD decisions are based on; financials.

Budgeting is not only an important issue, it is the issue which runs our college district. While most schools deal with budgets in the multi-millions, MCCCD deals with a business running in the multi-billions.

Voters must research all candidates who will be put in charge of these multi-billion dollar decisions. The district has many important fiscal decisions being made and the proper board member is more important than ever.

About Author

Allison Cripe is the Social Media Editor and reporter for the Mesa Legend. She also writes songs and short stories such as this one in Across the Margin: Dogs are her spirit animal(s).

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