The evening of Nov. 5 saw a tight race for Lorain County Community College and its University Partnership. At press time, Issue 2 passed with a reported margin of 72 votes.
Issue 2, a 10-year 2.1-mill levy renewal by Lorain County Community College’s University Partnership will help sustain and grow LCCC’s partnership program to provide students with bachelor and master degrees in many academic studies.
“We are going to keep serving this community and we’re going to focus on making the best opportunities that we can,” said Tracy Green Vice President of Strategic and Institutional Development at LCCC.
Issue 2 ran second to Issue 1, which proposed a half percent sales tax increase. With the economy still climbing uphill, passage of extra taxation has a tough battle. Mixed reactions from around the county were reported throughout the day.
Though Issue 2 rallied much support from students and faculty at LCCC, some county residents rejected the tax increase for various reasons. “I voted no on both issues. I think we are being charged too much already on sales tax and I am not affiliated with LCCC at all,” said Brian Hoyle, Wellington Village resident.
Mason Cogar of Wellington Village expressed different views. “I did vote for Issue 2 because my daughter goes to LCCC and I want her to have the best opportunity to have a good future.” Valerie Yocheim of Sheffield Lake, Ohio was more concerned not with what she could offer LCCC, but what the college could offer her. “I voted for Issue 2 because LCCC has always given back to the community. Many of their resources are open to the public, and they seem to be a solid investment.”
Jeff Hensley of Grafton feels as though Lorain County Community college is a great asset to our community, but didn’t vote yes on the increase because he believes that taxes are already too high.
David Karp of Grafton feels as though Lorain County Community College is a great asset to our community, but doesn’t understand why a funding increase would be needed. “I feel as though the campaign that the college ran fixated on what good the increase would do for the college itself and not enough on the community and students lives after graduation.”
June Stephens of Elyria voted for both Issue 1 and 2. “I voted for Issue 2 because I believe in education. It’s the only way we can turn our county around,” Stephens said.
Another Elyria resident, Bob Karlovec also felt education was an important part of his community. “My son took classes here, there is nothing more I need to say,” Karlovec said. Karlovec also voted for Issue 1 claiming it should be good for the county.
Bridget Corriveau did not want the addition sales tax increase proposed in Issue 1. Corriveau does not see the need for the increase. As for Issue 2, Corriveau voted for it. “A vote for LCCC is a good one, especially in light of my kids growing up in the community,” Corriveau said.
Dennis Grundo gave his full support for LCCC. “Yes on Issue 2 because I like the way the college is going and I went there. This issue is a big yes to this community and student body,” said Grundo.
“I won’t vote for any levies for LCCC because it is a business. It’s owned by the county and I don’t think any business should be funded by taxes,” said Tom Gerone of Sheffield Lake.
Among those who voted in favor of Issue 2, were Christopher and Sally Field “My grandson goes to LCCC. In fact, he studied in Elyria Elementary. This is a great school, with personal focus on each student. My grandson is the brightest in the family and is a PSEO student currently shadowing a professor at LCCC. He wants to major in Biotechnology and this University Partnership is very important to him,” said Mrs. Field. Mr. Field interjected, “But we voted no for the other issues.
They are just an excuse to raise taxes. We don’t believe in that.”Mary Stewart, of Elyria, argued against all tax increases by saying, “They [tax increases] all start small, but eat up our incomes. I am strongly against that, I wouldn’t vote for it.” Brenda Syppko of North Ridgeville voted yes on the Issue 2 because she had a granddaughter that went to the school and she also attends many of the school functions that are held. “I am all for education and LCCC is a wonderful school,” said Syppko.
Delores Thompson also voted yes on Issue 2 saying, “I have a granddaughter that attends the school right now and it’s a great way to help support her”.
LCCC journalism students Sonal Dhiman, Katilyn Glover, Rachel Jindra, Torie Kozyk, Jackie Sartschev, Paige Selzer, Brenna Shippy and Kimberly Teodecki contributed to this report.