Efforts are being made to increase the overall amount of voters by encouraging students to register to vote. There has been a table set up in the A Building throughout the last few weeks, encouraging students to register.
These efforts are being made to increase voter turnout for November 4th, the day the county will vote on the millage proposed by MCCC.
Faculty and staff of the school aren’t allowed to discuss or give opinions on the millage, but Dr. Joanna Sabo, Professor of Political Science, had this to say about voting.
“It is very important to vote, and I think the millage is important to the county,” she said. “I think students are aware of the issue as professors are letting them know as much as possible.”
According to Sabo, over 35 students had registered through the school to vote at the time of the interview.
Students also seemed to think it was a good idea.
Writing Fellow David Ferguson said “I was registered to vote in high school, but if I hadn’t been I wouldn’t have known what to do. It’s good that the school is encouraging students.”
He went on to say “I think it’s important to vote because, you know, democracy and all.”
Sarah Dusseau, a student at the college, thought the table for registration was a sound strategy.
“It’s a good idea. Our school needs the money and if we don’t encourage people to at least get out there and vote, the millage might not pass,” she said. “We definitely need it.”
The school has been treading water financially for at least 7 years, with major efforts to solve the problem going on since 2008. The last time the school asked the county for a tax millage was 34 years ago, in 1980.
If passed, the millage will greatly aid in the efforts to fix the budget. Property taxes will be raised and the proceeds of the increased collected tax will be funneled to MCCC. Homeowners with a house valued at $100,000 will pay around $4 a month to fulfill the levy.
County residents had plenty to say on the issue.
Jim Harris, a life-long resident, said he didn’t mind the additional tax.
“The school obviously needs it. It won’t cost me very much a month, and the school is a vital part of our community,” he said. “We [the county] stay relevant because of the college. Without it, we’re just another city between Toledo and Detroit.”
Janice Fitzgerald-Smith shared similar thoughts. “It doesn’t take any time to go and vote yes,” she said. “If I can help my children and my children’s children by paying a few extra dollars a month, I don’t mind at all.”
While most seemed fine with the millage, others had reasons for not wanting an increased tax.
Harry Phillips was one of those residents, who just moved to Monroe County.
“I literally moved here a month ago. I haven’t even gotten my feet on the ground and a school I’d only just heard of wants my hard earned money,” he said.
When asked about the consequences of the college’s budget continuing to drop, Harry replied “I don’t know. It sounds like there are bigger issues than just the budget.”
Whatever your stance on the issue may be, getting out there and letting your opinion be heard by voting is very important. Not only to the school, but to the county, the people who live in it, and the future of all those who attend and may attend in the future.