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New Klamath Community College board member blasts alleged negativity

Kathy King, a new member of the Klamath Community College Board of Education, took her oath of office on Thursday evening representing Zone No. 6 at KCC, shortly before rebuking board members for allegedly expressing negativity as it relates to her in her new position.

Voters wrote in King in the May 16 election, ousting former board member Brenda Frank, who didn't register in time to have her name placed on the ballot during the May election. Chairman Jeff Ball and Vice-chairman Dave Jensen also took the oath of office Thursday night, with Jensen taking his over the phone.

Kathy King made a statement alluding to alleged dissent among more than one board member in response to her being on the board. King is also the wife of board member of Al King.

“I began this journey with a very positive intent, and I was under the impression, wrongly it appears, that other members of this board would also assume a positive intent,” King said. “Instead, some members believe their own thoughts, the thoughts of others, never asking me why I chose to run to be a member of this board.

“In looking at member's responses to the election of this board, it appears some members believe women, me in particular, do not have a mind of our own,” she added.

“I think it perhaps time that these members move into the 21st century.”

Ball commented in response during an interview with the Herald and News on Friday.

“In terms of what she was talking about, I don't think I've had any conversations with any board members who expressed the sentiment of what she referenced,” Ball said.

Board member Austin Folnagy was the only person to respond to her statement in front of the board Thursday night.

“Kind of an unwritten rule of the board is to promote diversity within the board and to welcome the board members,” Folnagy said. “I'm sorry you felt that way, and if anything, that was a failure on my part as a board member.”

Kathy King would not identify to whom she was speaking about, but emphasized why she ran as a write-in candidate.

She recently completed two years of service as region governor of the Soroptimist International Northwestern Region, which comprise five states and 3,600 members.

“No one filed for this position,” she said.

“I have worked to assist women and girls, to further their education and improve their lives for more than 25 years.”

King expressed hope that the board would “welcome new ideas” that would benefit students within the local community.

“I believe I can help this board make a difference in Klamath County,” she said, adding that education is KCC's single best way to reduce the incidence of poverty in the Klamath Basin.

“Some of you are looking through a key-hole, and only seeing a very small part of the room,” she told members of the board. “Or are you willing to open the door and see the larger picture, because are you coming to this board with a positive intent, because I am.”