Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Friday, Oct. 04, 2013

Familiar face returns to Johnson County Community College board

Special to The Star

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Thirteen Johnson County residents applied to fill the vacant spot on the Johnson County Community College board of trustees. But this week, the six current members of the board decided to bring a familiar face back into the fold.

Robert Drummond of Olathe, who served on the board from 2009 to 2012, was appointed Tuesday to fill the position of former trustee Melody Rayl. She resigned in July only a month into her second term as a JCCC trustee.

Four finalist candidates each gave five-minute presentations to the board members during the meeting Tuesday, and then trustees asked them questions for 15 minutes.

The other finalists were former Republican state senator and Kansas Secretary of Labor Karin Brownlee of Olathe, former Overland Park Councilman Michael Lally of Overland Park, and Prairie Village business owner Steven Wolf.

Drummond was traveling and conducted his interview over the phone. Brownlee and Lally touted their experience in governments. Drummond told the trustees that his previous experience on the board made him better qualified than the other finalists.

“As you might recall, the four years I served on the board were very challenging years. But the board worked very closely, I thought, to get JCCC through a new faculty contract (and) a significant loss of state tax revenue,” Drummond told the board.

“We balanced the budget every year for several years, which resulted in many difficult decisions, as I recall. However, we also built two new buildings,” he said.

The board was divided over which candidate to appoint for the vacant seat. Wolf didn’t survive an initial vote. It then took three more ballots for the board to reach a majority of votes for Drummond.

In the final vote, the trustees voted 5-1 to appoint Drummond to the board, with Gerald Lee Cross Jr. casting the dissenting vote.

After the vote, board chairman Jerry Cook told the three other finalists that it had been a hard decision.

“It’s a testimony to the community and to each of you, the quality of the candidates we had,” he told them.

Trustee Jon Stewart thanked the candidates for applying.

“There’s a good group of people that want to be involved and provide leadership at the college, and I really appreciate the three of you,” he said.

Drummond spent 30 years working in various capacities at Mid-American Nazarene University in Olathe. His term will expire on June 30, 2017.

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