OC board approves revenue bonds, new trustees

In light of two appointments to the Odessa College Board of Trustees, Ector County Republican Party Chair Tisha Crow requested that trustees be more transparent when there are openings so citizens can participate in their local government.

Hortencia Del Bosque was appointed to Place 2, previously held by the late Richard Abalos, and Montie Garner was named to Place 6, held by Neil Grape.

The board accepted the resignations of Grape and Chair Tommy Clark, Place 9, Tuesday night. Del Bosque and Garner were both sworn in.

New Chair Gary Johnson said the board generally puts the word out and has people contact the college, so filling the positions is by word of mouth.

Board member Bruce Shearer said he was appointed in 1994 and Johnson asked if he was interested. He said he thought there were other applicants and noted that those appointed run, if they want to, in the next election cycle.

“I know there are people who would like to be involved,” Crow said. She asked that the college make an effort to let people know there is an opening and make it known publicly.

President Gregory Williams said they would take it under advisement.

Clark said they would have to run it through legal.

“Certainly anything we can do to make it more well known, we want everyone to be involved,” Clark said.

The board also reorganized with the chair being Gary Johnson; vice chair, Larry Johnson; secretary Trudy Lewis; and assistant secretary Dr. Tara Deaver.

Trustees also approved naming agreements for the planned 83,000-square-foot, $39.7 million Wood Health Sciences Building.

Groundbreaking is anticipated in September.

Odessa Regional Medical Center pledged $1 million to be paid out over 10 years and Grow Odessa committed $1 million to be paid out over two years, OC Executive Director of Advancement Jacqui Gore said.

The third floor will be called the Odessa Regional Medical Center Instructional Floor and cover 20,500 square feet.

Carol Cates, chief nursing officer at ORMC wanted to stress how important OC is to Odessa Regional. Cates, who is an OC graduate, said the college has the finest associate degree nursing program.

Wesley Burnett, director of Economic Development Corporation at the Odessa Chamber of Commerce, said Grow Odessa felt the investment was right in line with its mission to “literally grow Odessa.”

“… Hopefully, this will have a huge impact on our community. … We really appreciate your partnership,” Burnett said.

The board also approved a parameters resolution authorizing issuance of consolidated fund revenue bonds, appointing a representative of the district and elevating to the representative certain matters with respect to the sale of the bonds and offering documents and enacting other provisions relating to the issuance and sale of the bonds.

The maximum amount would be $35 million. Gary Johnson said the bonds would be funded by revenue and but some of it would be spread out over years. The donations will reimburse the budget as they come in.

“We’re borrowing the money. We will make payments through the budget process,” Gary Johnson said.