By Shelby Stewart-Soldan
On Nov. 7, voters in the Brandon and Goodrich school districts went to the polls in light numbers to decide on school funding proposals.
Across the Brandon School District, which includes part of Groveland. Brandon and Hadley townships, the non-homestead millage renewal passed by more than a two-to-one margin with a total of 1,758 votes for the millage and 820 vote against. In November 2022 Brandon School District voters opposed the non-homestead millage, with a 3,312 yes to 5,154 no vote.
“The Brandon School District is extremely grateful to the community for their dedication to our district,” said Brandon School District Superintendent Carly Stone. “The Brandon community is what makes our district so very special. The district has great appreciation for what they offer to our students and our families. Go Blackhawks.”
In Brandon Township, 16 percent of registered voters cast their ballots. The 18-mills is on non-homestead properties, which includes commercial properties and secondary homes will generate over $2 million annually for the district.
“The election was pretty good, but there was a low turnout so it was pretty slow at the polls,” said Brandon Township Clerk Roselyn Blair. “But as far as the clerk’s office and election workers, it went really well.”
In the Goodrich School District, a 1 mill, 10 year sinking fund that would have generated about $615,000 failed 1,231 yes-1,540 no. A similar sinking fund proposal also failed in November 2022 with 55% of registered voters rejecting the measure. The district includes parts of Groveland, Hadley and Atlas townships. The sinking fund was necessary for construction, repairing buildings and buses.
“Although we ended up short of our goal, our roadmap as a school district to provide the best we can for our students and community stays the same,” said Goodrich School District Superintendent Mike Baszler, “Our team made strides from a year ago in educating the community and are grateful for all those who came out to vote. We are determined and will be back at the table soon to discuss how we can further educate and explain the importance a sinking fund will have in addressing our aging facilities to give the best possible for Goodrich students.”
For the first time, voters in Atlas Township all voted in one polling location at Goodrich High School. There were 989 absentee ballots cast and 896 in-person ballots for voter turnout of 28 percent.
“That is pretty on-par, we expected about 20-30 percent,” said Atlas Township Clerk Katie Vick. “All in all, I think it was a success. It was a good trial run, I’m glad we did it on a slower election so we can work out some kinks. The only thing we got bogged down on was educating people on what line to be in. All in all the school was a wonderful host. We really didn’t have any big issues at all.”
By Shelby Stewart-Soldan