Wednesday, August 3, 2016

Detroit Zoo millage renewed plus good news for libraries and parks


I told my readers to "stay tuned for more elections coverage after the polls close" at the end of Renew for the Zoo.  The polls closed four hours ago, but I can now report on the results of the zoo millage vote.  From the Detroit Free Press: Detroit Zoo millage wins heavy support in 3 counties.
Voters were giving strong support Tuesday in renewing the millage tax that supports the Detroit Zoo.
...
With 95% of votes counted, Oakland voters were giving the zoo 74% yes votes.

In Macomb County, with about 88% of votes counted, the zoo measure led by a narrower margin: 59% were voting yes, while 41% said no.

In Wayne County, with 50 percent reporting, the zoo was leading 72 percent to 28 percent.
Yay!  Time to break out Professor Farnsworth!


Follow over the jump for other election results about libraries and the environment.

First, some good news about library millages from the Free Press, beginning with Roseville voters approve new library millage.
Roseville voters approved a tax hike to provide funds for library operations and enhancements, according to unofficial election results.

They were asked about a 0.5-mill tax hike for 10 years, starting this year. The funds were to go toward library operations, equipment, facilities and materials. It was estimated to raise about $424,895.

The measure passed with 68.9% of the vote with all precincts reporting.
Next, Utica voters approve new library millage.
The ballot measure passed with 74.4% of the vote, according to unofficial election results.

Voters were asked to hike taxes by up to 0.04 mills for 10 years, starting in July 2017. That levy would be added to the existing library millage of 0.8418 mills for a total dedicated library millage of 1.2418 mills.
Both of those were in Macomb County.  There were nine ballot measures in Oakland County reported on the Oakland County Clerk's website.  The ones that passed were in Pontiac, Wixom, Commerce Township, Holly Township, White Lake Township (barely--eight votes out of 5240), Ferndale, and Hazel Park.  Those who have been reading this blog for all of the past five years know that one of the first local political issues I covered was library millages, beginning with Save the libraries, save civilization, so this has long been an issue close to my heart.

Two that failed were for Lyon Township, one a bond proposal and another a millage.  I covered an earlier millage vote in Examiner.com article on library millage passing.  Then I reported that civilization won.  This time, it lost.

Here's another which was a loss for the environment as well as education, thus another loss for civilization from the Free Press: Brandon voters reject millage proposal.
Voters in the Brandon School District rejected a millage proposal that would have ensured clean water at two district schools, plus make major repairs to the community aquatic center and repair bathrooms.

The vote for the sinking fund millage was 1,777 no to 1,148 yes. That includes Oakland County votes only. A small township in Lapeer County is also part of the district, but Superintendent Matt Outlaw said it only has 370 registered voters and its results won't change the "no" vote.
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The largest chunk of the money would have gone toward a key project to replace the district's Waste Water Treatment Plant. In fact, the district has described the proposal as a Clean Water Millage.

Outlaw said the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality has mandated the plant be replaced by November 2019. The replacement of the treatment plant will cost $1.5 million.
That $1.5 million will have to come from other construction projects, which means that the physical plant at the schools will suffer, which means education will suffer.  The voters in Brandon will be sorry--eventually.

Finally, here's some good news from the ballot box: Wayne County Parks millage headed for renewal.
Wayne County voters appeared poised to renew a tax that funds county parks and distributes money to local communities for their parks as well.

With about 30% of precincts reporting, the millage was winning with about 75% approval.
While most of this money will not go to natural areas, it will go to open spaces, so I'm counting this as a win for the environment.  Overall, a good night for sustainability, even if it's not a great one.

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