Letter to the Editor | TahoeDailyTribune.com

Letter to the Editor

In Support of Measure F

My wife and I bought a retirement home in Tahoe in 2002, in part because there was a college in South Lake Tahoe. I have been on the LTCC Foundation Board since 2009. I am writing to urge everyone to support Measure F to modernize Lake Tahoe Community College and increase the educational opportunities offered there.

Right now, South Tahoe High School has better labs and facilities than our college does. LTCC's current campus is 25 years old, and after years of state cutbacks, the maintenance and replacement of roofs, heating, and other physical systems cannot be done without your help. We need to repair, upgrade and modernize the college so we can prepare students for transfer, or support them in earning their Associates degrees, and possibly one day we may be able to graduate them with four-year degrees earned right at LTCC. Community members who participated in LTCC's long-range planning process last year said they wanted to see our college become a true "destination" college Tuition at a California community college is about $1,300 per year, while at U.C. Berkeley it is $12,972 and at Stanford $44,184. A community college is simply the best buy for two years of college!

Many students graduating high school want to be away from home when going to a college. We are a great destination community, which is what drives Heavenly, stores in the Stateline area, restaurants, hotels, sports shops, bike shops, etc. It makes sense to have the college support this in a similar way, but our students will stay here throughout the year, and not just on weekends or vacations. We offer all that Tahoe itself has to offer and LTCC can better attract students from around the state and beyond if it's modernized, has the latest technology, has up-to-date classrooms and labs, and looks as appealing as the rest of Tahoe does.

As the college expands thanks to Measure F, so do significant jobs for our community – faculty, administrators, and facility maintenance and servicing, and support businesses we use in the community – injecting significant ongoing money into our economy.

In addition, Measure F will also directly help our community in that: The college plans on spending $107 million in construction from Measure F including matching funds from the state. All Measure F funds will be used for construction projects – none for the College administration or faculty salaries; 50 percent of students graduating Lake Tahoe High School who go on to pursue higher education attend LTCC. It is essential to keep the College up to date so that our young people can lower their costs in the first two years of higher education; Under the new California rules, locals can take a course once, but with the College's CONNECT Education program, the college will continue to increase the number of courses for the community, and these courses can be repeated; and a vibrant college also increases the prestige and desirability of our community for both professional careers and the retirement community. My wife and I would not have retired here without the college.

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Measure F will cost $25 per $100,000 in assessed valuation. For the average assessed value of a house in South Lake Tahoe, the annual cost will be under $70 per year, or around $5.90 per month. Not a bad return on a small investment for all the benefits to our community. Please join me in voting yes on Measure F this November.

Bob Cliff

LTCC Foundation Board Member

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