Press-Republican

January 25, 2013

Letters to the Editor: Jan. 25, 2013


Press-Republican

---- — Speaking French

TO THE EDITOR: Plattsburgh is less then 20 miles to the Quebec border.

A nation of 8 million people live directly across that border, a nation whose territory is several times that of Texas, a nation recognized by its Federal Parliament as well as UNESCO to exist.

It is a minority nation in its country, as well as a minority nation upon this continent. In fact, it is the only French-speaking nation on the continent, whose metropolis is the second-largest French-speaking city in the world. And, it is more or less an hour from the metropolis of the dear North Country.

A rare chance in America, an amazingly awesome chance — to be so close to a nation so different. North Country children could be blessed with unique language and cultural opportunities.

But, we don’t care. Why don’t Plattsburgh people speak French and have a uniqueness that could be an economic gem toward commerce and tourism?

Perhaps for the same reason no one exploits the city’s and region’s amazing natural beauty. They all lost hope on having more, and the leaders of the community are selling them short. Shameful.

AARON RAML

Aurora, CO

 

Different interpretation

TO THE EDITOR: The CCC community was deeply moved by the outpouring of support for our faculty on Tuesday evening, especially because these cuts were entirely avoidable.

President Jablonski has repeatedly stated that the college’s financial problems were due to cuts in state aid. An analysis of the college’s financial statements 2010 through 2012 suggests a different interpretation.

The largest decline in revenue 2011 to 2012 was in student tuition ($370,185), due to 164 fewer full-time students. State aid is not mentioned by the auditors as an important source of declining revenue.

From 2010 to 2012, revenues have been approximately even at around $13 million. Expenses have increased by over $800,000. Some of this increase is due to the costs associated with the new computer system. However, another issue is the addition of four new full-time positions.

Taken together, these facts suggest the actual problem was the failure to plan appropriately. We have been aware for many years that the number of students graduating from high school would be declining 30 percent over 10 years. Yet, at no time was the college’s Strategic Planning Committee asked to consider how the college might respond to shrinking enrollments.

During this same time, the Strategic Planning Committee heard arguments for and recommended the addition of two new full-time positions based on student needs. Both of these positions were cut Nov. 30.

Two other new positions were not reviewed by the committee; neither was retrenched. It should be noted that the Planning Committee was not informed of any impending financial crisis when they recommended adding staff.

Our college has a large number of dedicated, intelligent employees and a system in place to coordinate their efforts — the Strategic Planning Committee — but administration has failed entirely to utilize these valuable resources.

JUNE FOLEY

Plattsburgh