Voters can’t go wrong in the election for the seat that David Ford is vacating on the Central Oregon Community College board. Erica Skatvold, 30, is an excellent choice. And so is Kyle Frick, 54.
Voters should support Skatvold.
She works at St. Charles Health System in clinical informatics, which is about using data to improve patient health. Skatvold grew up in Bend and took classes at COCC. She attended the University of Denver for her undergraduate degree and went on to get a master’s in public policy at the University of Chicago.
Her goal on the board is to do her best to align COCC programs with the needs of the community. She knows firsthand that St. Charles has some 160 openings for nurses and is having difficulty filling them. Skatvold wants to see what can be done about better tailoring COCC’s nursing program to fill those openings. But she wants to ensure programs at COCC match up like that across Central Oregon. She would work to see more partnerships and internships with businesses created to make it happen.
Frick doesn’t disagree with any of that. He also mentioned a specific concern that students may not be getting enough instruction in financial literacy.
He, too, grew up in Bend. He was in the U.S. Air Force for four years, attended classes at COCC and got his undergraduate degree at the University of Oregon. He has been the vice president of marketing and community relations at Mid Oregon Credit Union since 2003.
Frick has no shortage of experience in serving his community and on boards. He has been very active, including with the Rotary Club of Greater Bend, on the Oregon Community Foundation and with the Bend Chamber of Commerce. Frick was chair of the chamber in 2013.
We can’t help but like both of them. We don’t believe, though, they would bring significant policy differences to the board. Frick clearly has broader experiences and more leadership experience. That would normally end the debate for us. But the COCC board doesn’t have an experience or leadership deficit.
Skatvold is motivated and analytical enough to compensate for any lack of experience. And she also brings a more youthful perspective to the board — perhaps more in touch with many of its students — that the board is missing.