ASC Trustees endorse Proposition 103 to support education


The Board of Trustees for Adams State College voted to support Ballot Proposition 103, following a presentation at its Sept. 30 meeting on campus by the proposition's sponsor, State Senator Rollie Heath (D-Boulder).

Heath explained the proposition would restore state tax rates to 1990s levels for five years, in effect creating a "time out" from education funding cuts. It would increase state sales tax from 2.9 percent to 3 percent and state income tax, from 4.63 percent to 5 percent. It is estimated the measure would bring Colorado nearly $3 billion in new revenue to spent solely on public pre-school, K-12, and higher education.

"This doesn't fix the problem," Heath noted. "It's a band-aid to stop the bleeding while we work on solving the problem created by our budget and tax structure. We've got to educate our folks."

State Senator Rollie Heath

State Senator Rollie Heath explains to Adams State trustees the particulars of Proposition 103, designed to increase funding for public education.

Trustee Arnold Salazar said: "I think this actually has a very good chance of passing."

Trustee Buffie McFadyen, a former state representative from Pueblo, pointed out: "It is very telling that there is no organized opposition to this ballot measure. That is huge. Sometimes silence speaks very loudly."

Evans purchase agreement approved

The Board also voted unanimously to pursue a lease/purchase agreement for the Evans Elementary school property. Pending similar approval by the Alamosa Board of Education at its Oct. 3 meeting, Adams State will lease and ultimately purchase the property at 108 La Veta Ave. by Jan. 1, 2014, for a total amount of $1,750,000. The parties have set a tentative closing date of Oct. 28, 2011.

Trustees give Svaldi an "A"

The trustees finalized their evaluation of President David Svaldi, giving him a grade of "A," according to trustee Mary Griffin, who chairs the evaluation committee.

Svaldi said: "That grade is shared by all who work with and for me." Griffin said Svaldi "has provided steady leadership and direction in the face of uncertain budgetary conditions. He has participated in economic development and other community issues, and understands the college's role in this community."

In view of the positive evaluation, the board authorized giving Svaldi a 10.8 percent salary increase, to $205,000 a year. Trustee Arnold Salazar noted this would still not bring his salary to parity with those of other college presidents in the state. "You have done an exemplary job and earned our confidence and trust. The community looks up to you as a leader," he said.

Svaldi requested the board defer his increase until salary increases could be given to the rest of campus employees, who have not had increases for four years, due to state budget cuts.

By Julie Waechter