November 23, 2014

Elyria
Rain
54°F
test

LCCC levy passes by narrow margin, requires recount

Mona Atley, manager of development in human resources at Lorain County Community College, posts the voting sheets to windows so the public can see the results Tuesday. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

Mona Atley, manager of development in human resources at Lorain County Community College, posts the voting sheets to windows so the public can see the results Tuesday. KRISTIN BAUER | CHRONICLE

ELYRIA – Lorain County Community College’s levy narrowly passed Tuesday, although the 72-vote margin of victory falls within the range of an automatic recount.

According to unofficial election returns from the county Board of Elections, 28,497 votes, or 50.1 percent, were cast in favor of the levy, while 28,425 votes, or 49.9 percent, went against the measure.

Those figures don’t include 599 provisional ballots that won’t be counted until the election is certified on Nov. 26 or absentee ballots that have been mailed but have not yet arrived, elections board Director Paul Adams said.

“It doesn’t get any closer than this,” Tracy Green, the college’s vice president for strategic and institutional development, said as the final results were coming in.

College President Roy Church said he’s never seen a levy for the college pass with such a narrow margin or an election with such a low turnout, which he believes was a factor in the tight vote.

Adams said countywide voter turnout 28.7 percent.

Students, teachers, administrators and supporters met on Tuesday to wait for results regarding Issue 2 at Lorain County Community College.

Students, teachers, administrators and supporters met on Tuesday to wait for results regarding Issue 2 at Lorain County Community College.

The 1.5-mill renewal levy with a 0.6-mill increase will raise $12 million per year, money that will go toward expanding faculty, technology and programming in the college’s University Partnership. If it stands, the levy will be in place for 10 years.

“We’re hopeful,” Church said.

But even if the provisional and outstanding absentee ballots end up changing the results, Church said the levy won’t drop off the books immediately and the college could try again next year to convince voters to pass it.

He said the levy effort was about more than passing a levy. It also gave the college a chance to explain to the community what it does, Church said.

Citizens for LCCC, the campaign committee backing the levy, had spent considerably on passing the measure. According to pre-election campaign finance reports, the committee had spent $545,380 through mid-October and had another $193,118 left in its campaign coffers to finish out the election season.

Church also told a crowd gathered at the Spitzer Conference Center on LCCC’s campus Tuesday night that there had been tremendous campus and community involvement in the campaign.

For instance, he said the Student Senate helped organize bus trips to the elections board’s offices so students could cast their votes. He said about 150 students took advantage of the offer.

But as the results came in throughout the night and the margins tightened, Church warned the crowd that it would be a close race.

“This is clearly a nail biter,” he said at one point.

It still could be.

Contact Brad Dicken at 329-7147 or bdicken@chroniclet.com.


  • stop ur whining

    glad it passed. education is vital to a city’s future.

    • MZee

      LOL. You think they’ll stay here and do some good for the city?

      Different angle – I wonder why it is property owners get to pay for a “community college” based on non-property owners voting for a measure they don’t have to pay a cent on to have a school that brings in no money to said property owners? (unless they are landlords and rent to students). Last I knew tuition was supposed to cover their costs…

      • stop ur whining

        although it is true that property owners that do not attend, or have kids that do not attend do not directly benefit from LCCC you do however benefit indirectly.

        without affordable schools where you can receive a great education in your city you suffer in population. currently elyria is in a huge amount of trouble. there is no new influx in population. the only way to get new families into your city is to provide them two things that are more vital that any other.

        1) a safe environment to raise their kids
        2) quality schools to send their kids too

        Without those two your city dies, when your city dies you lose property value. when you lose property value you lose money.

        i would encourage you to vote for anything school related. you get what you pay for and if you want to live in a great city like rocky river, bay, westlake, avon lake you have higher taxes that keep the trash from moving in, provide xtra police to take the trash out, have fresh paved roads and GREAT SCHOOLS.

        Schools are the engine that drive a city. have a good day, thanks for responding.

        • stop ur whining

          also with more new families and young professionals moving in you will have more people buying homes instead of renting. renting usually accompanies towns on the downside.

          • Bill Love

            You could always ask for a sale tax for it if people really think LCCC is that important

          • stop ur whining

            that isnt how education is funded

          • Bill Love

            Well the way its funded now is illegal by the ohio constitution

          • stop ur whining

            yea that is not true

          • Bill Love

            Yeah it is in ohio it is illegal to fund the school systems with property taxs read the ohio constitution sometime

          • Julie Wallace

            Actually, I believe you are referring to the way public schools are funded, not colleges. That is what the DeRolph decision addresses.

        • SniperFire

          Elyria was built and enjoyed its heyday by the sweat of the brow of relatively uneducated people. You are spewing tripe.

          • Zen Grouch

            I remember the good old days in Lorain, when a good number of kids KNEW they’d be working with their dad when they hit 18, at the steel mill, Ford plant, ship yard, Thew Shovel, Tappan, Lorain Electronics and therefore weren’t all that interested in gettin’ no book smarts…

            **A Strong Back is a Terrible Thing to Waste**

          • stop ur whining

            as was a major portion of the midwest. the problem is that blue collar is dead. if you want a better life today you must be college educated or beyond. long gone are the days where a high school diploma would get you $50k a year at ford and rightfully so. there is no excuse for someone with only a high school diploma to be paid that much. when elyria was in its heyday too many of those blue collar workers never sent their children to do better than themselves. they just figured that would skate by just like they did.

          • Bill Love

            No one skated by you dumb @$$ they worked hard and deserved all they got not like now because you have a college education want the world hand it to you

          • SniperFire

            You can’t argue such things with those raised as gubmit dependents. They have just been told the system owes them a living, and hey, they figure living the lie beats workin!

          • FoodForThought63

            You must be a miserable person. I’ve read your comments on other stories and they are negative. Get outside and find something to enjoy. You deserve to be happy-no one deserves to be so miserable. You’re missing out on life.

      • FoodForThought63

        I get your point MZee, and as a property owner I contemplate this myself all the time. But it should be noted that this is how all levies work, unless they are for a sales tax or income tax. It probably isn’t fair, but it isn’t just the college who goes for a property tax levy. I believe the rationale is that everyone pays even if they rent. Your landlord is going to charge rent based on his mortgage and property tax bill, needing to cover these expenses. So, in essence, the cost is passed to the renter. Of course this isn’t necessarily the case all the time, but that is the rationale.

  • alreadyfedup1

    A glimmer of hope. To bad Obummer used it as a campaign stop. Oh welll.

  • SniperFire

    Wonder if they will be able to improve on their 8% graduation rate with all this new money, or is it just going to pad their retirement accounts?

    • MZee

      Sure is a low rate. But we can’t hold them accountable for those who quit, those who can’t make the grade, and those whose grant money ran out.

      • Mark B

        Grant money huh , the taxpayer pays for the school , and also tax dollars to the student in grant money , seems the taxpayer is paying the entire bill here

      • SniperFire

        Sure we can. They need to stop fleecing the taxpayer to push programs which unqualified, unmotivated students should never be participating in.

        • FoodForThought63

          You can’t continue receiving grant money if you don’t perform well in classes. It gets cut off if you do not succeed. And you should know that the grant money given to fund these student’s educations is far less than you’d be paying to fund their welfare check, which is what they’d be getting without the higher skills for a decent job.

          • SniperFire

            I am not talking specifically about ‘grant’ money. And spare me the ‘your are going to pay anyways’ nonsense. We are talking about the 92 out of 100 who don’t get the higher skills @ LCCC. The other 8 certainly don’t need to be sucking off the taxpayer.

    • rlm_Lorain

      Although on the surface a graduation rate of 8% would seem low, according to a nationally recognized data system, a “successful completer” is a
      first-time, full-time student who completes a certificate or associate degree
      within three years. Because a lot of people that complete degrees at LCCC take longer than the recognized 3 years, they aren’t considered “successful completers” and not considered in the final statistics, thereby skewering the actual results. ANY education, regardless of how long it takes, is priceless and well worth the investment.

      • SniperFire

        That is tripe. Invest in your priceless education on your own dime.

    • Zen Grouch

      I wonder how many people take courses with no intention of ever graduating?

      You know, they are there to learn something very specific then leave.

    • FoodForThought63

      You should understand statistics if you are going to use them as an argument. The 8% figure is based on every person who takes a course at LCCC. So yes, 8% of everyone who takes a course through LCCC graduates with a certificate or degree. However, not all of those who take a course at the college even plan to earn a certificate or degree. Some come in to take a few classes to transfer to their more expensive university, some take a class to gain additional skills to qualify for a promotion at work, and some come in to take a class out of personal interest. If you took the number of people who come in with the actual intention of earning a degree and look at the graduation rate there, you will get a much higher percentage.

      • SniperFire

        ‘So yes, 8% of everyone who takes a course through LCCC graduates with a certificate or degree.’ No, that is not what the statistic says. Then again, I have forgotten more about statistical analysis than you have ever learned.

  • Bill Love

    I’m tired of supporting everything in lorain county if you don’t owne a house you should not be able to.vote to.raise my property tax

    • MZee

      I agree Bill. Why is it those who don’t own property, so won’t pay the levy tax, get to vote on if those who do own the property will? We can’t control our property taxes cost, and once we pay off and own the home we are still renters, having to rent the property from the government.

      Suzy Orzman is making more and more sense… never buy. You don’t have to maintain it, you don’t pay property taxes, if you don’t like it once the lease is up you move. Getting to sound like a better deal all the way around.
      On the bright side, OH still have levy’s. “We” the people have a say (in this case I’d be interested in seeing how many non-property tax paying voted). In PA the public school board decides the budget, passes it, and sends you the bill. You have no say in what they spend. It is one of the reasons I moved, but of the 3 (once was snowbelt/overcast winters) two were tax related!

    • Zen Grouch

      If you pay rent and your landlord isn’t passing these tax increases on to you in the way of raised rent…

      …you’re living in a house owned by an idiot.

      • Pablo Jones

        In a town of empty houses for rent if you raise the rent people move to the cheaper house. What good is raising the rent if you have no one paying it.

        • Zen Grouch

          Well, I guess you just sell your houses and move the heck out of Lorain County if you don’t like it.

          I hear they have some nice one room shacks in Montana.

          • Pablo Jones

            And if you can’t sell it? Your ideas are always full of holes. I’m glad you are not in charge of anything important.

          • Zen Grouch

            When you pull hypotheticals out of your hat then twist the circumstances to meet the needs of your argument it’s easy to “poke” holes into anything.

            So how many rental properties do you actually own that are sitting vacant at the moment?

            Hey… remember Joe the Plumber who was gonna be a millionaire but bemoaned those darned Democrats were in his way?

            Same thing… Tea Baggers live in a fantasy world…

      • SoLoJimbo

        Or Gov’t housing. but I guess that would be a house owned by idiots.

  • RagerMom Est

    I hope to find this passes! LCCC is a great school and offers a future to our youth!! A beautiful part of Lorain County!!

  • Dave Sommers

    They spent $550,000 to get this levy passed. This isn’t to support it’s current obligations but to EXPAND faculty, buildings etc. Not sure the college needs an expansion right now. This isn’t exactly a booming economy right now.

    • FoodForThought63

      Dave how are we supposed to improve the economy without an educated workforce? Companies locate to places where they can find skilled employees. Without LCCC, Lorain County would be in so much worse shape than it already is. If you want to attract more high paying jobs, you need skilled folks who are capable of doing those jobs. And you have to spend $$ to get the word out as to why the issue was important. Every candidate and organization trying to get elected or pass a levy spends money. And it comes from private citizens and corporations, not the taxpayer.

  • Dave Sommers

    Where on earth did that $550,000 come from? With an additional almost $200,000 sitting in their campaign account. That doesn’t seem like they NEED additional funding. I like the college but that doesn’t automatically mean I support this tax increase.

    • FoodForThought63

      Private citizens who understand the need for quality educational opportunities in Lorain County as well as companies who rely on an educated workforce. It is in their best interest to keep the college going strong so they employees who actually know what they’re doing. No taxpayer money was used, as with the Elyria Schools, etc.

  • SniperFire

    92 out of every 100 who start on an LCCC program fail to complete it, even after three years. Never any accountability.

    • FoodForThought63

      Read my above comment on this. You are misinformed.

      • SniperFire

        92 out of every 100 who start an LCCC program fail to complete it, even when given 3 years to do so. This is FACT.

  • DCAinSLC

    So many of these comments are without foundation. Community colleges are commonly funded by the local property tax system, that was core to their creation across the United States in the 1960s. LCCC was actually led by one of the original innovators of the community college concept. As for restricting the voting franchise to property owners, I recommend a civics class – perhaps at LCCC. The Ohio Supreme Court decision on school funding, deals with primary and secondary education, not higher education. For a postindustrial community like Elyria, the local community college is one of the few assets that provides opportunity for innovation. A postindustrial town without an institution of higher education is doomed. As for performance measures, community colleges are difficult to measure because of their diverse goals and student composition. I never “completed” at LCCC, but booked the hours needed to jump-start my Bachelors at Ohio State. I then added a graduate degree at George Washington University. Absent, LCCC I would never had gotten the start I needed. Today in my public life, I serve on the Business Advisory Committee to the Chancellor of Higher Education in a western state. Ohio’s Community College System is one of the nation’s finest. I would refer those wanting to know more to turn to the Chronicle of Higher Education, a publication with a weekly update on community colleges.

  • DCAinSLC

    One more comment on voting rights and property ownership. Limiting voting rights to property owners was abolished in the period of Jacksonian Democracy that followed the collapse of the Federalists and the westward expansion of the USA. Absent such reforms, we might have developed like Great Britain where a few landowners controlled most property. It was really not until Prime Minister Thatcher’s Administration that one saw large scale privatization of real estate so common in the more pluralist USA.