James Nelson – JCCC Trustees, President Terry Calaway hire $120,000 image consultant; JCCC ends video recordings for public meetings, lies about reasons

More from James Nelson:
Nelson Blasts Trustees’ Decision to Spend Tax Dollars on Image Consulting; End Video Recording of Meetings
Olathe, KS — James Nelson, a Republican from Olathe, candidate for Trustee at Johnson County Community College, sharply criticized two votes by the current Board of Trustees at their recent meeting. Nelson said the decisions to spend tax dollars on image consulting and to end video recording of Trustee meetings demonstrated the current board was out of touch with the average Johnson County taxpayer.
“To reduce transparency and open government by shutting down video production of meetings by citing $40,000 in savings, but then to spend $120,000 on ‘rebranding’ would be absolutely laughable if it wasn’t such an offense to the taxpayer,” Nelson said.

Regarding the decision to end video production, Nelson said that the decision smacked of an effort to limit transparency.

“Transparency is very important, particularly in light of recent controversies at the college concerning open meetings. While audio is nice, it alone doesn’t often tell the whole story of a meeting. The decision to cease broadcasting board meetings seems to fly in the face of what the public expects today out of its government, which is open access. Not everyone has the time to attend Trustee meetings, so video is important,” said Nelson, who went on to add, “Furthermore, in today’s world of online video and YouTube, to take a step back a couple decades and not have video available seems foolish. If cost is truly the concern, is there not someone at the college, perhaps students in a video production class, who could do this for less? We’re talking about 12 meetings a year and perhaps two stationary cameras.”

Nelson said the $40,000 cost concern was particularly silly in light of the Trustees’ decision to spend up to $120,000 on rebranding.

“This is exactly the type of decision that baffles the average taxpayer. Are there not students or faculty at the college who have the talent to assist in any rebranding effort, if indeed that is even necessary? It seems they could have taken 1/3 of the rebranding funds and retained video production of meetings. Perhaps it is because of mind boggling decisions like this that the college needs a rebranded image in the first place,” said Nelson.

Nelson said the comments by current trustees, two of whom – Jon Stewart and Don Weiss – are up for re-election, were proof-positive that change is needed in college leadership.

“The attitude seemed to be – we have the money, why not spend it on rebranding? I have a better idea – how about realizing the money isn’t yours to begin with. That’s the attitude I would bring to the college.”

On April 5, the Johnson County electorate will vote in three names to serve on the JCCC Board of Trustees. More can be found out about James Nelson at http://www.votejamesnelson.com.