The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

The Student News Site of Tarrant County College

The Collegian

Opinion-Candidates lacking for TCC’s best interest

Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington
Illustration by Daniel Worthington

The upcoming elections for the TCCD board of trustees has caused quite a stir, as two of the men running for a seat may not be well-suited to the district.

This year, the board’s most prominent and long-standing member, Dr. J. Ardis Bell, who represents the district around NE Campus, is retiring from his position, and his hand-picked successor, Conrad Heede, is facing unprecedented aggressive opposition from another contender, Joe Hudson.

Also up for reelection, Kristin Vandergriff, who represents north and central Arlington and parts of Euless, has faced a seemingly ruthless opponent in Jerry Pikulinski.

Both Hudson and Pikulinski are running on a platform of opposition to the new downtown campus. While Joe Hudson has said that the scale of the new campus needs to be minimized, Pikulinski wants to scrap the entire campus and sell off the land.

Vandergriff and Heede are a good fit for the board for many reasons, including their vision and concern for TCC and its students and employees.

But let’s concentrate on why Hudson and Pikulinski are not, including misinformation and exaggerations in political mailers regarding the state of TCCD.

Pikulinski’s mailer suggests that SE Campus is in such disrepair it may have to be shut down … far from true.

Pikulinski’s other major platform is a reduction in tuition to $40 per credit hour. This is $10 less than the current rate, which is already below the national average. 

This $10 reduction would make a very minimal reduction for a student over a two-year period, but the effects to the TCCD budget would be devastating.

Secondly, Pikulinski’s plan to completely stop construction on the downtown campus would lead to a huge loss for the taxpayers and serve as a huge disappointment to many of the people the board represents.

Finally, Pikulinski may have shown his true colors in a series of angry e-mails he sent to the League of Women Voters after it was announced that a candidate forum was to be held on South Campus.

Another aspect to Pikulinski’s campaign is the theft of Vandergriff’s political signs in Arlington.

Vandergriff has repeatedly put signs in the yards of supporters, only to have them vanish in a few days’ time.

Hudson’s campaign has been kept to a minimum, but issues regarding his ethics have been raised after a report surfaced from www.CampaignMoney.com showing that during an unsuccessful 1998 run for the U.S. Senate, Hudson raised no money for his campaign and left an unpaid debt of more than $16,000.

Hudson has touted his experience with TCC having taught here in 2007. What he often neglects to mention is that he was here for only one semester. Half a year in a TCC classroom makes him less experienced than most of our students about the inner workings of the TCC board.

It is doubtful either candidate could join the board without causing a serious rift because of their focus on the new downtown campus.

The board needs creative solutions from cooperative members to help rein in costs and get the downtown project back on track.

The time for arguments about whether the campus should have been built has expired.

Pikulinski and Hudson could bog down the process and prevent anything useful from being accomplished.

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