Voters to decide school board seats, millages

Taylor schools seek millage renewal

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

TAYLOR — A local ballot question facing Taylor voters on the Nov. 6 general election ballot is a non-homestead millage renewal for the Taylor School District, a continuation of a tax first approved in 1993.

Voters will be asked to approve or deny renewal of a tax levy of up to 18 mills on industrial, commercial, agricultural and second-home properties. The tax generates an estimated $11 million annually for operating the school district, and approval would continue the levy through June 30, 2018. The current levy approved in 2008 expires on July 1.

Residents will see no increase in their taxes if approved, and will not increase or add new levies to businesses.

The levy, which represents about one-fifth of school revenue, would be used for general operating expenses.

Also on the ballot are two school board positions, with incumbents John Reilly and Deborah Stellini running unopposed.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)

Three seek two seats on Southgate School Board

By JAMES MITCHELL
Sunday Times Newspapers

SOUTHGATE — Voters may consider adding a new voice to the Southgate Community Schools board of education. Two seats on the panel are featured on the Nov. 6 general election ballot; candidates include two incumbents and a challenger.

Current board President Joel D. Bergeron and Trustee Patricia Graziani seek re-election to the board, with newcomer Amanda Kremer challenging for a position.

All three candidates are products of the district and graduates of Southgate Anderson High School.

Bergeron, 40, is an educator at Shrine Catholic High School in Royal Oak and has served on the board for more than eight years. Following last year’s election Bergeron was named board president in January.

Graziani, 47, is an analyst with Blue Cross/Blue Shield of Michigan. Graziani was first elected to the board in 2008. Graziani has a child in the district.

Making her first bid for elected office, Kremer, 26, has a bachelor’s from the University of Michigan, served as a congressional intern and is a non-profit fundraiser.

While each candidate brings an individual perspective to board service, the roll of education and community involvement, each reportedly agree that the school’s financial outlook is the top priority for the board.

Last year the panel made the difficult decision to eliminate general education busing and privatize custodial services. The next budget session is expected to present a nearly $1 million deficit to be addressed.

Streamlining efforts have been made to lessen the financial damage, including the district office relocation this year to city hall. Board members and candidates said that the top priority is to continue finding ways to reduce costs without sacrificing service or education.

Southgate Community Schools board members serve four-year terms; voters will be asked to choose two of the three candidates on the ballot.

(James Mitchell can be reached at jmitchell@bewickpublications.com.)