Millage ready for final push

Maintenance Chief Terry Cole stands with Vice President Suzanne Wetzel to distribute signs on the corner of M50 and Raisinville
Photo by Mariah Tevepaugh

MCCC’s campaign for a millage increase has shifted from getting students registered to vote to getting them out to vote.

The deadline for registering for the Nov. 4 election was Oct. 6.

“Our focus has shifted from getting people to register, to now – vote,” said Julie Edwards, leader of the millage volunteer effort.

Edwards, who is the Siena Heights representative on campus, added that students also can get involved in other ways. 

“I have yard signs available in my office students can come get whenever, to help get the word out,” she said.

The millage campaign has been active since the beginning of fall semester, according to MCCC President Kojo Quartey.  He has been in classrooms, sent out e-mails, there are signs on-campus, and there was also a voter registration table on campus.

“The message is constantly going out to students; you can’t walk on campus without seeing signs,” he said.

Quartey also talked about having transportation available on election day to help get students out to vote.

“We will leave no stone unturned to make this millage successful,” he said. “This is an investment for the entire community.”

One of the main reasons the millage was put on the ballot, Edwards said, was to stop the trend of raising tuition to balance the college budget. 

Many students attend MCCC because they could not afford to attend another college or university –rising tuition is threatening that advantage, she said.

“We should vote yes to keep costs down and to help maintain the high quality education students are receiving here,” Edwards said.

State election laws prohibit college employees from campaigning for the millage while at work.

Because she’s employed by Siena Heights, Edwards can work on the campaign, and pass out signs from her office.

If the Nov. 4 ballot measure is approved, MCCC’s property tax millage will increase from 2.2 mills to 3.2 mills.

That will raise about $5 million more per year for the college budget, and will cost the owner of a home valued at $100,000 about $50 more per year.

Edwards said there are several ways students can get involved in volunteering to help spread the word.

“Number one, people should vote, and they should vote yes,” Edwards said. “Students should tell all their friends why they should vote yes.”

Volunteers are participating in a variety of events to increase awareness of the millage.

For example, a table will be set up at the Erie Orchard on Oct. 25 and 26 for volunteers to pass out flyers and inform people about the millage.

Volunteers were at the Monroe-Bedford football game last Friday night.

“We’re also asking any volunteers to make a list of 10 people you can call, and tell them why they should vote yes,” Edwards said.

Students are encouraged to go to monroeccc.edu/millage to fill out a volunteer form, which will explain the various ways they can help.

“I don’t want to put someone in a position where they have to talk in front of a ton of people, I want to work with students’ strengths,” Edwards said. “The volunteer form goes directly to my email and lets me know how a student can get involved.”

The college also has a Facebook page, led by Tom Ryder, Campus Community Events and Student Activities coordinator.

According to Ryder, the page’s purpose is to share accurate information about why MCCC needs a millage.

The page is available to friends, family, students – anyone who wants to learn more about MCCC and the millage request.

The page, which will be up and available through the election, is at www.face– book.com/pages/MCCC-Millage-Infor- mation/721798461208551.