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Here is where Board of Trustees candidates say they’d take Dodge City Community College

How should Dodge City Community College best serve the community it calls home? The seven candidates running to join the DCCC Board of Trustees in the Nov. 5 general election offered distinct answers on that question in survey responses to The Journal.

Two incumbents, Florisjean Hampton and Terry Malone, are running for re-election. They are joined by auto dealer Jim Lewis, insurance agent Hugo Garcia, Nick Wells, Bill Turley and Kelly S. Henrichs in competing for the three open positions on the board. Hampton, Malone, Lewis, Garcia and Wells each submitted survey responses to The Journal.

Read more about each of the candidates in their own words below. For more information about other races up for vote this fall in Dodge City, please visit klcjournal.com/local2019dodgecity.

Update 11/6/2019: Click here for the unofficial results from Tuesday’s election.

Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees

Editor’s note: To help readers make their voting choices in the Nov. 5 general election for local offices, The Journal, the Kansas Leadership Center’s quarterly magazine, sent out a survey to more than 250 candidates in communities where our magazine’s readership is the largest. What follows is information from  your local candidates, in their own words.

Hugo Garcia, candidate for the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

I am an insurance agent for Farmers Insurance and have just completed my second year in business. I am running for office because I feel like the Community College is straying away from the needs of Ford County residents.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

I would like to see the community college focus more on the Ford County residents and bring back certain programs that the college has eliminated recently that I feel are going to impact Ford County in a negative way.

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

The residents of Ford County need to be informed more of what type of changes are going on with the community college. I feel like our tax money is going into programs that are not benefiting anyone in Ford County and the people that are in office now are not doing what is best for our area.

To what extent do you see a lack of child care holding your community back?

No response received for this question.

As a local official, what, if anything, would you do about a lack of child care in your community?

No response received for this question.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

No response received for this question.

Florisjean Hampton, candidate for the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

I am a fourth generation descendant of Ford County, Kansas, pioneers and homesteaders, and have always felt the need to continue building the community, both country and city, which they dedicated their lives to.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

Community colleges are uniquely qualified to build the communities where they are – they are owned and managed by the people who live there. One of the challenges is making taxpayers-owners aware that the mission of a public educational entity extends beyond their own small community (as a trained and capable workforce).

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

I have been a lifelong active member of many other community organizations, which inter-relates and strengthens the college connection by building support for both the college and the community

To what extent do you see a lack of child care holding your community back?

No response received for this question.

As a local official, what, if anything, would you do about a lack of child care in your community?

No response received for this question.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

No response received for this question.

Jim Lewis, candidate for the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

My wife and I moved to Dodge City Kansas over 40 years ago and started Dodge City Toyota which now is Lewis Toyota of Dodge City. My kids and I grown the Lewis Auto Group into nine new car dealerships across the state. My kids are now running the business and I have time to pay back Dodge City. I want to see Dodge City to continue to grow and prosper.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

I would grow DCCC, both the technical and traditional part of the college. I feel we need to do a better job with our local students on recruiting and working with our high school. Southwest Kansas has a large population of Hispanics and I would like to see an increase in the Hispanic Students in both technical and traditional. We need to build career paths for all DCCC students.

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

If elected, I would like to see DCCC invest in student recruiters. I feel we should hire a full-time recruiter for the technical side and another for the traditional side. I would like to work with Dodge City High School to offer more dual-credit courses that will help students succeed in graduating from college. These would be courses such as college algebra, college psychology and college biology, just to name a few. The administration must work with the Dodge City USD 443 administration to keep as many kids in our community as we can.

To what extent do you see a lack of child care holding your community back?

No response received for this question.

As a local official, what, if anything, would you do about a lack of child care in your community?

No response received for this question.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

No response received for this question.

Nick Wells, candidate for the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

As I approach retirement age, I feel a desire to give back to the community and use the experience and knowledge I have gained in higher education to help provide the leadership in future decision making.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

Increased enrollments in both the technical and transfer area of educational programs offered at DC3.

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

  1. Make sure the DC3 educational experience is quality and affordable, especially to the students from the primary area of Ford County.
  1. Provide technical education experiences in areas of student, workforce, and community interest.
  1. Provide better basic education classes needed for a smoother transfer to any and all state colleges and universities.
  1. Increase transparency of the direction of Dodge City Community College.

To what extent do you see a lack of child care holding your community back?

To some extent

As a local official, what, if anything, would you do about a lack of child care in your community?

DC3 does provide some child care to the community.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

I would expect this would be a low end priority issue in the community college sector.

Terry Malone, candidate for the Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees

Please provide a brief introduction and a description of why you are running for office.

I am an attorney with 44 years of experience in the law and 19 years of experience as a trustee of our college.

Our community college is important to our community and is in need of candidates who will provide the time, effort and develop knowledge which will help the college use the tax money wisely. Presently much of the money provided for education of Ford County students is wasted on athletic programs. This leads to the Ford County residents greatly subsidizing the educations of students from other countries, states and counties of Kansas.

Should you be elected, what is the single most important issue that you would like to see improvement on during your term in office? Please write a few sentences explaining your choice.

The enrollment of any student who graduated from a Ford County High School without cost of attendance. DCCC is owned by the people of Ford County and they provide the vast majority of the funding. In most ways, the community colleges of Kansas are funded just like K-12. We should expand our educational system in Ford County to K-14. We could easily achieve this goal that would improve our community immensely with a workforce that is better trained and educated. We are not a rich county. We cannot afford to educate the residents of England, Brazil and Canada or of Florida, Arizona and Texas or of Sedgwick, Shawnee and Gray counties if they are not required to pay the cost of the education and training provided by Ford County residents.

As an office holder, how would you try to mobilize efforts to address the important issue you identified above? If you have a sense of specific steps you might take, please share those.

Keep attempting to educate the public that the present policies of the board of trustees is a financial disaster for the owner of our college the people of Ford County. Our debt increased from $1.8 million in 2009 to over $34 million in 2015. The vast majority of that debate increase was related to providing athletic programs for out of state and out of county residents. We began a helicopter pilot training program in 2008 that was initially based in Dodge City. In 2011, the board moved the operations of the program to Arizona. We are spending huge sums of money on training and educating Arizona residents while the Ford County residents are left behind, As a result of gross incompetence and mismanagement, DCCC owes the U. S. Department of Veterans Affairs $33,000,000.00 Our total debt at DCCC is approximately $67,000,000.00.

To what extent do you see a lack of child care holding your community back?

No response received for this question.

As a local official, what, if anything, would you do about a lack of child care in your community?

No response received for this question.

How would you prioritize this issue in comparison to other issues that you expect to deal with while serving in office?

No response received for this question.

The Journal did not receive responses to its survey from Dodge City Community College Board of Trustees candidates Bill Turley and Kelly S. Henrichs.