Letter to the Editor

There is absolutely so much going on, so much being said, and so much being printed that it is all but impossible to keep up with the Ranger College attempt to annex Brown, Comanche and Erath Counties into the Ranger College taxing district.

I haven’t seen anything in print that would indicate the rationale of this bold move by Ranger College and according to what I have heard and read there is a major movement to stop this “land grab” as it is being called by the residents of these three counties. Common sense residents can’t make any sense, rhyme or reason why they are being taxed for something they never wanted or asked for. It was the college that paid to petition themselves for annexation, not the residents of those counties. After all, who wants to vote themselves a tax for something they don’t ask for or even want?

It was William Campion who paid for consulting fees and petition carriers, to the tune of $130,000, through the BERC (Brown-Erath-Ranger-Comanche Education Committee) to gather signatures that many have publicly said they were tricked into signing, some stated they were not given all the facts, and others say they were outright lied to by those who were working for John Hatch and Texas Petition Strategies to gather the required number of signatures to get this tax referendum on the ballot on November 7th in all three counties.

Several articles have been printed that covered Ranger College public meetings, if that’s what they really were, to provide information and allow residents to express their concerns and ask questions. Residents from Brown, Comanche and Erath counties were disgruntled to say the least by these so called public meetings. These people are not going to fall for the same line as Ranger did with the $10 Million Dollar Bond Election last November to build dorms and remodel the cafeteria.

The owner/editor of the De Leon Free Press newspaper, Jon Awbrey, covered the August 7th Ranger College board meeting. That article was posted online. After reading the article it makes one wonder just who is running this circus and are these people really competent to hold official positions.

During the meeting, Dr. Campion made the statement, “Those who opposed last year’s Ranger College bond election were crazies.” Also reported by Mr. Awbrey, “In addition, the Board of Regents indicated they would call in the Eastland County sheriff if said crazies tried to make their displeasure known at upcoming public hearings regarding Ranger College’s 97 percent tax increase.”

Personally, I don’t think the word displeasure even covers the sentiments of Ranger residents who had this bond election crammed down their throats with all the tricks and deceitful misdeeds used by Ranger College, William Campion and those who followed his directions. We now know what happened and how it happened and will not let anyone else fall victim to Ranger College.

I seriously question if any of these professional individuals even remember we have something called a Constitution with amendments that give us something called rights. Anyone who would actually proclaim in a public meeting they would call in the Eastland County sheriff, without any threat or overt actions by anyone in Ranger, are definitely in need of legal counsel or counseling.

Dr. Campion also stated in this article, The Ranger Economic Development Corporation (EDC) was unsupportive “because women go down there and scare the hell out of” the EDC.

That B ME! I went to the Ranger EDC meeting on July 17th and made a 3 minute presentation against the $25,000 request to the City of Ranger by Ranger College for the nursing program. I made a 9 point presentation to the EDC board and read from those bullets as follows:

  • There are NO nursing classes being offered or taught at the Ranger College Campus

  • Nurse Instructor Offices are located on the Ranger Campus and used for a couple of meetings a year

  • Approximately 120 students made application to Ranger College (All Campuses) for both nursing programs. Only 30 passed the rigors to be accepted into the program for the 2017 school year

  • In the 2016 Annual Audit Ranger College reported a shortage of $9, 515 in the nursing program

  • Presented to EDC: According to a report in 2015 by the U.S. Department of Health Resources & Services Administration, a projected supply and demand of nurses by the year 2025 revealed that Texas was projected to see a surplus of 6,100 plus nurses.

  • Presented to the City Council: COUNCIL (Updated Survey) In a survey by Georgetown University School of Nursing & Health Studies, in February 2017, projections of supply and demand of nurses by the year

  • REDC 4A funds should be utilized to create JOBS not GRANTS with taxpayer money for the benefit of Ranger college or to train students for jobs where they will be employed in other geographical locations

  • Ranger College is NOT creating jobs that would be of any financial benefit to Ranger

  • Ranger needs Employers NOT Employees

  • (Presented to EDC Board only) Before any of you board members vote on this agenda item you might want to consult with your attorney-since most of you sitting in those seats are related by affinity or consanguinity to Ranger College board members

I can’t see any statement that I made in those 3 minutes that would have “scared the hell” out of anyone.

The EDC board voted 4-1, with the President, Rick Hughes, being the only dissenting vote to give Ranger College $25,000 from EDC funds.

I made that same presentation (less the last bullet as it was N/A to the city council and presented a more current updated nursing survey) to the Ranger City Council during Citizens Presentation in Monday night’s council meeting.

However, I announced to the council prior to my presentation, “I am NOT here to scare the hell out of anyone.”

Dr. Campion was present as was Eastland Memorial Hospital Administrative Staff, Ranger College VP of Workforce Development and Board of Regents member Sandi Herod.

After my presentation, the council voted to give Ranger College and the nursing program $15,000 but only after Council member Casey pressed Dr. Campion into answering his question, if we give you the money will you come back next year for more money? Dr. Campion replied that Ranger College would not be back. Luckily, MicroplexNews.com was there and recorded the meeting for posterity and more than likely that recording will be needed the next time Ranger College wants more money from the City of Ranger; a city who is hanging on financially by a thread.

This agenda item brought out the lack of common sense reasoning and business experience of some city council members.

The way I figure it, $15,000 is a real bargain if it stops Ranger College from draining the Ranger EDC funds that should be used to attract new businesses and jobs for Ranger.

All this just made me question, just who are the real crazies?

Donna Thackerson
Ranger, Texas 76470