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County OKs SCCC’s budget

Farley casts sole vote of dissent citing Center City move

— Last week’s tone of the Schenectady County Legislature debate on Schenectady County Community College’s 2011-12 budget returned, as the college received approval from all but one.

SCCC President Quintin Bullock presented the proposed 2011-12 budget to the legislature on Monday, Aug. 1, which totals $26,256,842 and is a 9 percent increase, or around $2.17 million, compared to the previous school year’s budget. What became a point of contention for Minority Leader Robert Farley was the Center City move proposed by the college. Farley, R-Glenville, said voted down the budget for the move alone, which accounts for 3.13 percent of the college’s budget. Democrat legislators disagreed with Farley’s assertion on the move being an inconvenience for students and costing too much.

There was a public meeting held before the vote during the Legislature’s Wednesday, Aug. 10, meeting, but no opposition was expressed. Legislator Karen Johnson, D-Schenectady, said a previous discussion to move a different department to the Center City yielded a much different reaction from the college community.

“The last time we had this discussion about moving the Music Department, several sessions we had between 20 to 40 students here,” said Johnson. “It is all fine, well and good that Mr. Farley is an advocate for the students, but they have been involved in this discussion … and they know the way to this building. To me, the college has done its homework and it has figured out how to make this work.”

The new Center City building was tapped to offer the college’s new Certified Nursing Assistant program and also host courses in criminal justice, business and computing. Increasing enrollment has led the college to explore for additional space. An $11.2 million grant launched the CNA program at the college. Without the additional space, college officials said it wouldn’t be able to run the program. Center City also allows SCCC to offer courses when the main campus might not be open, such as times on Saturday and Sunday.

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