"A government big enough to give you everything you want, is big enough to take away everything you have"
Thomas Jefferson

Wednesday, May 21, 2008


It is that time of year, graduation for JCC and other area colleges. The graduation signals the near close of the fiscal year in a couple months and the start of another year beginning in September.

JCC is a valuable asset of this community, providing an opportunity to continue learning and strengthening the quality of the workforce in the area. The college has been the successful starting place for many aspiring to attain a quality education and brilliant career.

The community has a great deal of interest in the college's success, they have been supportive of their efforts and they become deeply concerned when it encounters difficult times as it has experienced in the past couple of years.

So where will the college be when this fiscal year closes and what opportunities will it present to enhance the upcoming year? Since the college is funded by local property taxes and student tuition, this is a legitimate question.

The college, during recent years of stagnant or declining enrollment, has increased its revenue by requesting an increase in funding from Jefferson County annually and periodically raising student tuition. The college received a half million dollar increase in funding last year, and despite the increase it was portrayed by some as a cut because the initial request was for a million dollar increase. The outrage of some was better than their math, it was an increase in funding. The main basis from the college's standpoint for an increase in funding from the county is meeting a state mandated formula, which the county has been able to achieve.

The college and the county working to find an acceptable level of funding should focus on added value that will attract and increase student population and enhance their learning. Absent added value, and amid stagnant or declining student enrollment then a simple cost of living adjustment should be sufficient. But, this community cherishes the college and does not want status quo, it desires to see it excel and will not mind funding the college to see that happen. JCC is a jewel and the community enjoys polishing it at every opportunity presented.

The college and county should refrain from making this a discussion solely on some formula, rather they should boast the accomplishments and share a vision for excellence in serving students, that will be reason enough to invest in our future.


RWiley said...

When I was a kid getting ready for college in the 50's our country was growing fast and there was a need for a college closer to home. I was excited at the prospects of a State School right here in our community. However, It was vehemently opposed by the Republicans on the County Board including, my hometown representative. It took years to purge the Board of the opposing view, but finally this great community asset was built and achieved success. Thank the liberals for JCC.

However, thanks to the Bush Administration with its deficit spending and trickle down bankruptcy, the funding of all good things local will be in jeopardy. Perhaps, JCC will be one of them.

Anonymous said...

rwiley...remember it was liberal Darrel Aubertine who did not support JCC in the latest state budget.

Anonymous said...

NY's community colleges and state university system were the vision and accomplishment of Republican (admittedly, liberal) Governor Nelson Rockefeller and conservative Republicans who controlled both the Assembly and Senate.

Republicans who control in the Senate consistently fought for increased funding and investment in our public colleges and universities ever since.

Conversely, the first year we have a Democrat Senator, critical funding for an important expansion at JCC doesn't make it into the State Budget, and Darrel Aubertine is quoted on the record saying he didn't know about it.

rwiley is correct that JCC is a cherished jewel for our community. Too bad we don't have representatives in Albany who share his passion.

Anonymous said...

Part of JCC's downfall is a the sport's program and housing. If the investment was there for both I am sure you would see the college grow. Look at other small community colleges and their programs it makes JCC look sad. When was the last time you heard an outstanding high school student say I am going to play for JCC!!! Instead they go off to play at Onondoga, Monroe, Mohawk and etc... Also what father is going to let her feshman daughter go find an apartment in Watertown to attend school. Most athletes come back and play at JCC as a last resort as do many of the students. We need to work with the County, City and College to reverse it. A Hockey Program would recruit students from Canada and they almost had a club team this year but no support. Small minded community stunts growth!!! We need to elect leaders with vision. JCC is a very good college but working together with open minds we could make it even better.

RWiley said...

Yes, Rocky was a bit liberal and his administration can take credit for the State University of New York as it appears today with the building of many campuses around the state. He was a true progressive. He knew how to share the wealth as a politician and benefactor as his family returned many millions of dollars reaped from the robber-baron days. He even knew how to die right.

Perhaps this is how he would view his party today:

What Rocky Would Say

Live Blogging