Readers Respond

Thursday, December 16, 2004

Letters to the Pilot

New ICCC curriculum bad for Faust Institute - and taxpayers

To the editor:

Behind closed doors Iowa Central Community College has recently formulated and proposed a new curriculum to be added to the Fort Dodge campus. This proposed curriculum is a cosmetology course that will draw students away from existing institutions like Faust Institute of Cosmetology.

Not only does this new curriculum smell of wasted taxpayer dollars, but also violates at least two statutes in the Iowa Code. Both statutes 23A.2 and 260C.14 clearly state that publicly supported schools cannot compete against private sector institutions already providing a similar service.

ICCC contends that there is a need in the Fort Dodge area but neglects to tell the full story. Within the merged Area V that ICCC is supposed to service there are currently two private institutions providing a superior curriculum for students. Faust Institute of Cosmetology is one of these private sector businesses. In addition, both La'James in Fort Dodge and Faust in Storm Lake are only at about half student capacity. Beyond the fact that ICCC is violating state code, there isn't a need in the immediate area.

Faust Institute of Cosmetology has been in the Storm Lake community for 24 years. We recently moved our Spirit Lake campus to a new building and are looking at doing the same thing here in Storm Lake. The school directly impacts the community with tax base in sales tax, employee state withholding, and property taxes. In addition students and employees live and spend money in both communities, not to mention the added benefit of bringing customers to downtown Storm Lake.

If ICCC gets the cosmetology course taxpayer dollars will certainly go toward building the new classroom and subsidizing the students. The playing field will no longer be level and private sector institutions like Faust will disappear throughout Iowa. We have never shied away from open market competition, but you can bet when taxpayer funded institutions come to the maketplace, private sector gets the short end of the stick and you end up paying much more.

- Ann Faust, Faust Institute of Cosmetology, Storm Lake

Mr. Goodfellow at work


A big thank you for the nice outwear you gave my son. He carries his new coat everywhere he goes.

- A Goodfellow Parent, Storm Lake

Thank you for the beautiful coat, hat and mittens my child received from the Goodfellows. I appreciate it.

- A Goodfellow Parent, Storm Lake

Thank you for my new coat, gloves and hat. We had an accident at my home and my winter coat got burned. Thank you for keeping me warm.

- A Goodfellow Child, Storm Lake

Try a credit-free Christmas


Christmas is coming. You've likely begun shopping, and hopefully, at a local store. The question this season is, "are you being naughty or nice with your spending habits?"

The good news, two out of three people surveyed plan to spend the same or less on their credit cards to buy holiday gifts this year. And, a recent study by the Cambridge Consumer Credit Index reports six of ten Americans questioned plan to pay off their credit card balances in full within about a month. This holiday season we, hopefully, are becoming smarter about consumer debt.

Just as Santa "makes a list and checks it twice," you should always think twice about your spending.

· Use credit cards only for essential purchases and cut up or return to the issuer all unwanted credit cards.

· Design a spending plan and stick to it.

· Put attention into paying off any consumer debt as fast as possible.

These three recommended practices sound simple, but you may be surprised at how few of us actually practice them.

The Institute of Consumer Financial Education reminds us that, "millions of Americans are now paying twenty-five to thirty dollars-a-month in 15-20 percent credit card interest. Talk about something that is dangerous to our wealth!" Don't get buried under holiday debt when buying gifts for friends and family.

Think about what you can spend and how soon you can pay off the bills. You will enjoy smiles with friends and family even more when you don't have to worry about mounting bills that might otherwise come the first of next year.

- Randy J Wilkinson, President, Heritage Bank