CCC President Dr. Jason Hurst stated that a new Vice President’s position would be filled soon. Hopefully not an attractive female who trades in on her sex appeal for favorable treatment, Raises and such. Something the former CCC President had problems with. As well as BoT member Wes “Taliban Dan” Westmoreland-according to gossip and rumors.
Also, President Hurst also recognized and thanked SENATOR Westmoreland for his role in “obtaining” the old Shelby Prison Camp for CCC for the hefty sum of $1. All the while the Commissioners in their new budget are planning to spend $90 Million to build a new Law Enforcement Campus, which includes a new $20 Million jail. My thoughts were many dimensional. First SENATOR Wes Westmoreland never won any election for NC Senator or and other elected office that I know of. Taliban Dan was appointed Senator by the Republican Party to fill a vacancy and only then conditionally if he would promise NOT to run for the office at the next election. What a loser. And NO credit was given to Speaker of the House Tim Moore who would have had a major hand in approving such a purchase of the old Prison property for a dollar. Second, where were the Commissioners when they missed saving taxpayers Million$ on what could have been a new jail with much more capacity. When the Commissioner’s new tax bills come out in the next two weeks, outraged taxpayers will surely be calling for a new batch of Commissioners. This is probably what the CCC Board of Trustees were thinking about as gossip and rumors say they are trying to recruit Millie Keeter Holbrook (Eddie Holbrook’s wife) to run for Commissioner in the 2022 Elections. I checked the State Board of Elections database and Millie Keeter Holbrook and Edwin Charles Holbrook as well have switched party affiliation from life-long Democrats to Republican. Further fueling the UN-Civil War between factions of the Cleveland County Republican Party. Especially if Eddie and Millie both run for County Commissioner in the 2022 Elections.
Folks, this meeting gets “better” (or worse if you are a taxpayer) as the meeting goes on.
Illegitimate Board Member Luke Queen gives two Committee Reports. First from the Grounds Committee who is responsible for tens of million$ in new Construction projects thanks to grant funding from the State arranged by Speaker of the House Tim Moore. Shelby Mayor Stan Anthony’s architect firm has been approved for use by CCC. The architect firm Mayor Anthony complained about previously has a guaranteed Million dollar plus contract with CCC on the new Advanced Technology Center which basically consists of more classrooms that will be added to the already glut of unused classrooms at CCC. A glut of classroom even before the COVID pandemic drastically reduced attendance at CCC.
Luke Queen also gave the report for the Curricula Committee. Something Luke has no known training and experience in. Apparently, the BoT Mutineers are blowing “hot air” toward Luke to justify their mutiny.
BoT Member Larry Hamrick gave the Financial Committee Report. CCC is swelled with ready cash. Obviously thanks to Speaker of the House Tim Moore’s assistance in getting State Grant approval. Unfortunately, without CCC having well planned use for the money received. A pre-curser to massive wasted and untargeted spending. More on that later.
BoT Member Dennis “Beetle” Bailey (along with Taliban Dan Westmoreland as part of the Mutiny scheme leadership) gave a lackluster Workforce Development report. Prison programs are cut off because of COVID. They did a Job Fair for Greenheck, the new Catawba Casino and worked on Truck Driving training. Since Cleveland Community College’s sole purpose for existence was and in large part still is training students with job skills, this report was telling in the real progress CCC has made since the high-level sex, staffing and student dumbing down scandals that most recently plagued CCC. Scandals that CCC paid off on a lawsuit and that still exist at CCC due to the Board of Trustees cover-up.
There was also a Staff Report on student recruitment studies and efforts. CCC is targeting a recruitment effort for 1,704 additional students. I could not decipher whether those additional students were in addition to the present decreased level of students or the pre-COVID attendance. Since almost every report at this meeting was obviously slanted to hide deficiencies of one sort or another, I have to assume those 1,704 additional students are based on the pre-COVID student attendance levels. Otherwise the report would have been more specific on that point.
Another Staff Report on recruitment of students for on-line courses also indicated to me that Cleveland Community College may be flush with cash right now, but there are financial problems projected to be coming soon.
The President’s Report provided by Dr. Jason Hurst was probably the most distressing. Hurst apparently doesn’t quite get the message that CCC has to be fiscally responsible.
For instance, Hurst bragged about the new CCC Truckdriver training program now owning four semi-trucks and that these trucks will soon be fitted with large “banners” and new CCC “Logos” advertising Cleveland Community College. That is on top of all their billboard I suppose. Another indication that CCC is desperately searching for students. Despite the fact that road training has to be done one student at a time and CCC would be competing with a large number of commercial Truck Driving Schools. This new endeavor for CCC is questionable and no BoT member asked any hard questions.
Another thing Hurst bragged about was the new heavy equipment operator training. Hurst even showed pictures of the large number of expensive heavy earthmoving equipment that CCC now owns. The only thing is there are various manufacturers for each type of heavy equipment and the training given on CCC equipment might not be worth a hill of beans if the Construction Company happens to be looking for employees trained on his brand of Heavy Equipment that is different from what CCC has bought. Apparently neither Hurst nor the BoTs members had thought about that. Or, if they had, they didn’t mention it. Which was strange as all this talk seemed to be new to the BoT members. My take was this was a “show and tell” meant to impress any members of the public that might have shown up for the meeting. Or for a favorable Press Release to the Shelby Star. Which is the usual trick.
Dr. Hurst also showed pictures of the new athletic training rooms that CCC has built. Hurst bragged that this equipment in the workout rooms and private gym was necessary for athletic training and could also be open to all the other CCC Students and staff as well. I am sure the local YMCAs and the many other “weight rooms” and gyms around Cleveland County when they learn they have new competition paid for my taxpayer dollars.
Another of Dr. Hurst’s statements, perhaps the most telling, was his comments related to the sale of college surplus equipment. Hurst was passionate about the fact that CCC had given away useable and expensive to replace classroom equipment to other community colleges. His words were along these lines. “I am glad that Cleveland Community College has the resources to purchase new equipment instead of having to do with old equipment that might not be the latest model. I am glad that CCC can provide our older but serviceable equipment to help other community colleges that might not have the resources (cash) that we do.” Of course, North Carolina law requires that surplus equipment from governmental agencies has to be sold on Gov.Deals to the highest bidder with the proceeds coming back to CCC. A little thought about this means that CCC is purchasing NEW equipment while the old equipment is still serviceable. Not a fiscally responsible act. And an illegal act in the process. I am sure the tax payers in Cleveland County will be just as proud as CCC President Jason Hurst when they hear about this big-time waste of tax dollars by Cleveland Community College.
Another thing that got my attention was the lack of discussion by anybody about the College’s “Campus 10 Year Master Plan.” I had noticed this Master Plan on the Agenda and went to the College’s website and pulled it up on my computer.
The Master Plan was 49 pages long and I did a pretty good scan of the document as this indicates what the College says it wants to do and the costs are usually in the tens of Millions of dollars.
Since the purpose of Cleveland Community College is, in a very large part, training skilled workers for our local industries. I expected to see large bits of information and research dealing with our local industries. Who they are? What services they provide? How many employees they have on the payroll? And what are the projections for growth over the next 10 years and beyond.