My wife, Connie and I thank you, Curry County Board of Commissioners, for your thoughtful consideration of our concerns for the future of our SWOCC Curry Campus. Your leadership on behalf of all Curry County regarding how Curry's tax dollars are being used is important for the future of Curry Campus. Our concern is that tax monies are not providing any substantial benefit for Curry Campus programs.
Presently, 38.8% of the SWOCC District's tax base comes from Curry County - over $2 million ($2,137,803), annually. The Curry campus budget is approximately $850,000, with the remaining tax funds, $ 1,285,000 going to the college district.
These spending choices are the responsibility of the SWOCC Board of Education. There are seven members on that board - with no designated positions for Curry representatives - because SWOCC has determined that board elections will be "at large.” Those who get the most votes are seated and Coos County has 70,000 residents to Curry's 22,000 - heavily weighted in favor of Coos County.
Result? Curry citizens are in a "taxation without representation" dilemma.
With a tax base figure of 38.8% of SWOCC's overall budget, Curry should have three board representatives to assure that the Curry Campus is considered when annual budgets are decided so that we can be more than a “cash cow” for the district. Elections should be "by ward" voting with population used as a fairer way of providing parity of representation, in pursuit of parity of funding.
Keep our hard-earned citizens’ tax dollars in Curry County along with our students and the money being acquired through the college foundation (planned giving and legacy gifts). We deserve local development control and input into the decisions that shape our Curry Campus’ future.
Thank you for your hard work on this, commissioners,
Ray "Skip" Hunter