With the school millage election just a little over two weeks away, a peculiar question has come up.
We hear from some voters – not many but enough to make you wonder – asking what this school millage is going to be used for.
There have been several stories in this newspaper about the millage, and there have been two town hall meetings on the subject. At this point, if you don’t know what it’s about, you are just not paying attention.
Excuse us for being so blunt, but there is a lot at stake here. The public school district is seeking voter-approval for four extra tax mills so it can make long overdue repairs.
For the average household, it will amount to an extra $70 a year. That’s pennies a day, or as School Board President Titus Walters pointed out, about the cost of a video game.
The repairs are extensive.
You name it, the district’s buildings need it. Roofs, ceilings, floors, restrooms, doors, security, windows, heating, cooling and on and on.
Why did the district wait until now?
Good question. But the answer isn’t easy. Long story made short, it’s all about money. The district’s finances have been so extremely tight, there was little room in past budgets to make the necessary fixes.
And then when Gov. Snyder came into office, school financial support was slashed beyond belief.
As a result, many districts – including Hamtramck – are struggling to stay afloat. The good news is, we are digging ourselves out of a financial crisis created by Snyder and his Republican cohorts.
What the school millage comes down to is this: Hamtramck residents have to support their city and school district. We have to rely on ourselves.
By making these improvements to the district, we also increase the value of our homes, because a solid school district is something people want when they look for a place to live and invest in.
If voters say no to this millage request, they are saying we don’t care about our city or our homes. Want to know what a community looks like when it doesn’t care? Look no further than to our distressed neighbors, Highland Park and Detroit.
Do you want Hamtramck to turn into that?
Vote YES this May 6 for the school millage.
It’s an investment in not only our kids, but also our community.