MCCC wants students to get involved with millage

Tom Ryder says he hopes students will vote for the millage. 

MCCC wants students to support the proposed millage increase on the ballot Nov. 8.

The college’s staff is working hard to generate support for the millage in the upcoming election.

Tom Ryder, the Campus Community Events/Student Activities Coordinator, encourages students to become educated and involved in the millage.  

“No one knows for sure if the millage will pass with or without the student vote.  I would just hope that our students and their families will take a look at the information regarding the millage so they know the facts and understand why the college is going for the millage,” Ryder said.

He said students can find information about the millage on the college website.

The website explains the reasons for the millage and the improvements the money will make on campus.

Students can also register to vote on the website.

Ryder said students should be aware and involved in all the current issues on the ballot, not just the college’s millage.

 “I think it is important for our students to get involved in the whole election process.  Some important issues impact students’ lives and the college," he said.

"Elected officials make decisions on topics like student debt, funding for college and the economy. Students can get involved by voting and before election day by becoming educated about the issues so they can make an informed decision."

Ryder advises the Student Government, and he hopes they will advocate for the millage by helping students understand the millage and its purpose.

“I’m hoping the Student Government will plan some voter registration and information tables in the hallway. Information regarding the millage is already up on the College website and on tables around campus,” Ryder said.

Over the summer, MCCC’s Board of Trustees unanimously voted to reduce the millage request from .95 to .85 mills.

MCCC’s request for East and West Tech renovation ranked 14 out of the 16 projects that requested state funding. Our state legislators, State Sen. Dale Zorn and State Rep. Jason Sheppard, worked until the request placed in the top six. 

On June 29, House Bill 5294 was signed into law which secured $3.75 million in state funding for the renovations that will turn existing facilities into useable classrooms and laboratory spaces and create more accessible locations for critical student support services.

MCCC President Kojo Quartey explained that since the state has agreed to contribute to the funding, the college is able to reduce the millage request by nearly ten percent.

“We have relieved our local taxpayers of that burden, so instead of costing them approximately $48 a year, now it’s going to cost them approximately $42 a year to support this institution over the next five years,” Quartey said.

According to Quartey, reducing the millage is fiscally prudent and the right thing to do. He also believes the cut builds a stronger case for the millage.

The only catch is the state will only hand over the money if MCCC can match it. The college expects the money generated by the millage to cover their half.

“If the millage fails, we would have to do a fundraising campaign for the money. The project would be delayed and endangered without a millage,” Quartey said.

Quartey embarked on the “Township Hall Tour” to discuss MCCC’s 5-Year Maintenance and Improvement Millage request. The tour included volunteer recruitment efforts and “Meet the Candidates” forums at each stop.

 Quartey has assigned champions in every township. Champions are hardworking individuals who work in their township to recruit volunteers and head up advertising to ensure a successful millage.

The college will continue to educate students and Michigan residents to ensure a successful millage.