Clinton Township residents vote Nov. 6 at Clintondale High School. All three statewide proposals passed, as did one for Chippewa Valley Schools.

Clinton Township residents vote Nov. 6 at Clintondale High School. All three statewide proposals passed, as did one for Chippewa Valley Schools.

Photo by Patricia O’Blenes

Chippewa Valley Schools bond proposal passes

By: Alex Szwarc | C&G Newspapers | Published November 12, 2018


CLINTON TOWNSHIP/MACOMB TOWNSHIP — Simply put, Chippewa Valley Schools Superintendent Ron Roberts said, the approval of the bond proposal is great for the district and its students.

On Nov. 6, residents approved the Chippewa Valley Schools bond proposal.

According to unofficial results from the Macomb County elections website on the morning of Nov. 7, there were 25,701 “yes” votes cast, representing 58.3 percent of the total vote. Almost 42 percent of the vote, or 18,381, were “no” votes.

“I think this is great for Chippewa Valley and our students,” Roberts said. “The message we put out regarding this bond and the focus of it, both related to school safety and the aspect of preparing our kids for future jobs, I think really resonated with the community.”

The safety, security and school improvement proposal asked voters to approve the district to borrow $97 million. A press release from Chippewa Valley Schools states that the bond, in part, “Would fund security enhancements at existing buildings and facilities including security cameras, replacement of door locks, improved interior door systems and more secure entryways and replace buses that are the oldest in the fleet.”

Funds would also provide students with state-of-the-art instructional technology and increased access to career and technical education programs.

In Macomb Township, 12,649 “yes” votes were cast, opposed to 8,666 “no” votes. There were similar results in Clinton Township, with 13,052 “yes” votes and 9,715 “no” votes. Altogether, 47,359 votes were cast.

“My message to voters is, ‘thank you,’” Roberts said. “You have made a wise decision. It’s important to keep in mind that our schools are an investment. They’re not a liability. I thank the community for recognizing the kids are our future leaders. I think they will be pleased with the results.”

The biggest focus of the bond proposal is student safety, Roberts said, and updating and improving security at schools.

“We are going to modify some entrances to buildings so they are more secure,” he said. “When people enter buildings, there will be more things in place. What is also very important is the replacement and addition of security cameras.”

Roberts said feedback the district received about the proposal prior to the election was “very positive. That was from all aspects of the community. I had parents and non-parents speak to me. The business community was very supportive. Heading into it, there’s a lot of uncertainty since it is a general election and it’s a large audience you’re trying to reach.”

In May 2017, voters turned down an $89.9 million bond proposal that looked to address some of the same issues, including parking lots, safety measures and other infrastructure needs.

“I think our message was clearer this time with what we do with the money,” Roberts said. “Our message reflected what is happening in our society. Things have happened in schools and other areas of society that give people concern.”

Now that the bond has passed, district officials said all spending will be tracked and made available on a public website.

“We started talking about what other ways we can communicate with the community to let them know what we are doing,” Roberts said. “We want this to be transparent and want the community to see this is a wise investment in their schools.”

The next step of the process is to lay out a timeline for the implementation of certain projects.

Roberts said the security camera technology in place now at Chippewa Valley Schools is outdated, wearing down and breaking.

“With the use of new technology and security cameras, we expect our schools will be that much more secure and reliable,” he said.    

“It’s important to add that this community has always been supportive of their schools, and I think that is why we have such a strong school system,” Roberts said. “Their positive vote on this election shows they understand the importance of schools, and it’s good for our community.”