Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski speaks on school safety at Henry Ford II High School March 28 during a school safety seminar. The bond was designed to support safety measures.

Sterling Heights Police Chief Dale Dwojakowski speaks on school safety at Henry Ford II High School March 28 during a school safety seminar. The bond was designed to support safety measures.

File photo by Erin Sanches


UCS voters pass $155M safety and facilities bond

Challengers win two school board seats

By: Eric Czarnik | Sterling Heights Sentry | Published November 7, 2018

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Voters within the Utica Community Schools district passed a $155 million bond proposal Nov. 6 that will be repaid over 15 years.

With all precincts reporting, the unofficial results show the proposal passing with 47,568 votes in favor, or 61.3 percent. Opposing votes totaled 30,012, or 38.7 percent.

On election night, UCS Superintendent Christine Johns said the results were looking “very favorable.”

“I think that the parents and our community understand the importance of the safety and security for our children,” she said. “And our community worked together with us to help get out the information, and our community cares and loves their children.”

According to the proposal, district residents will see a 0.89 mill levy in 2020 and an “estimated simple average annual millage rate” of 1.3 mills. Officials said the millage rate will stay at or below the present 3.5 mills and not hike the net tax rate.

Officials say that in the coming five years, every school within UCS will get some kind of attention under the plan. Money from that proposal will be appropriated to projects and improvements related to security, technology, infrastructure and facilities.

Some buildings will get surveillance cameras and secured-entry door locks, and some will also get renovations and new roofing. Officials have said the plan will replace around 80 out of the district’s 233 buses. Spending will improve technology and learning tools, as well as go toward playgrounds and athletic fields.

The bond money can only be used on capital projects and not toward operating costs, utilities or faculty salaries.

UCS spokesman Tim McAvoy also commented on the bond proposal’s success.

“Safety and security are a priority to our community, and this allows us to move forward,” he said.

Besides the school bond vote, a couple of challengers unseated incumbents in the UCS Board of Education race.

With all precincts reporting unofficially, the candidates who led the vote totals were challenger Kelli Rankin, with 28,584 votes, or 20.5 percent; followed by challenger Kimberly Becker, with 21,625, or 15.5 percent; and incumbent  Michele Templeton, with 19,756, or 14.2 percent. These three earned enough votes to win seats on the school board.

Among the remaining candidates, incumbent Ken Krolczyk had 18,618 votes, or 13.4 percent; incumbent Gene L. Klida had 15,074 votes, or 10.8 percent; challenger Alisa Diez had 12,870 votes, or 9.2 percent;  challenger Paul Romanczuk had 12,715 votes, or 9.1 percent; and challenger Suril Patel had 10,159 votes, or 7.3 percent.

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