County voters approved a 10-year, .37-mill tax increase to reconstruct High Point school, a Wagner road school serving students with special needs.
Voter turn out was just 9.64 percent. Of those who voted, 55.85 percent (15,595) approved the measure and 44.15 percent (12,329) disapproved of the plan.
Despite some of the lowest turnouts in the county, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti carried the county-wide proposal to victory.
In the Saline area, the vote was much closer. In the City of Saline, voters approved the measure, 483 to 447. Lodi Township, 442-332, Saline Township, 108-64, and York Township precincts one and two, 317-231, voted against the proposal.
The Pittsfield Township districts in the Saline Area Schools district all leaned “yes,” though each of those precincts are mixed with Ann Arbor School district voters.
Comments from Saline voters reflected the 50-50 split in the community. On the one hand, voters wanted to students with the most challenging special needs.
“I always vote for the most vulnerable. End of story,” said Carey Mack.
Jackie Marcinkiewicz also supported the proposal. Her daughter has been a student at High Point for six years. She said when she first toured the building, she sobbed, because she felt like she was sending her daughter to an institution.
“The building is grossly outdated and does not serve the needs of its special students. I quickly learned to not judge the school by the building. That building is full of so much love and so many beautiful people, students and staff alike,” Marcinkiewicz said. “I have witnessed staff members pushing one wheelchair while pulling another and trying to maneuver narrow, sharply-angled hallways. This school desperately needs to be renovated! This Thursday is my daughter’s last day at High Point, and now I am sobbing that she has to leave this wonderful place. She may not attend there anymore, but I still support this issue.”
At the same time, some Saline voters feel over taxed. In recent years, Washtenaw County voters have passed the mental health millage, a special education millage and a road millage. In Saline, the school district passed a bond proposal that raised taxes. And in the City of Saline, voters passed a millage to improve roads.
“The property owners of Washtenaw county have had several millages in the past few years, and our seniors on fixed incomes cannot afford any more. Enough,” said Mark Schlicher.
The Washtenaw Intermediate School District plans to spend $53 million on the project. That’s a figure that concerned Jeff Tritten.
“The $53 million rebuild is for 45 students. I usually say yes to students, but this seems excessive,” Tritten said.
|City of Saline 1&2
|City of Saline 3
|York Township 2&3
|Pittsfield Township 7&9
|Pittsfield Township 11&12
|Pittsfield Township 1&8