SMC millage defeated

Published 2:08 pm Tuesday, May 10, 2005

By By JOHN EBY / Cassopolis Vigilant
Defeat in Dowagiac spelled the first sign it was going to be a long night for Southwestern Michigan College supporters.
A ballot question might not win because of the city, but it certainly wasn't going to conquer Cass County without it, although Cassopolis carried the 1.5-mill proposal, 412 yes to 289 no, that would have helped offset state cuts to the tune of $2.2 million.
SMC mobilized more than 350 volunteers to push only its second millage increase in its more than 40-year history, but the request was defeated, 3,420 no to 2,401 yes.
Many of those spent volunteers gathered at Round Oak Restaurant for what they hoped would be a celebration.
Instead, President David M. Mathews found himself giving a concession speech.
Most poignant of his vignettes came from a woman on the phone.
Mathews turned to the tote board and said, "Some of those people came out to support us, but too many of the people who felt their taxes were too high came out and voted. And when you look at those numbers, remember that we have probably less than 15 percent of the registered voters cast a vote in this election.