Special election today

Published 8:14 am Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Area voters will have a lot to consider when they head to the polls for today’s special election, including two school bond proposals, a recall election and a proposal to increase the statewide sales tax.

Polls open at 7 a.m. and close at 8 p.m. today.

Locally, residents in the Niles Community Schools district are being asked to approve two bond proposals that would generate approximately $40 million and pay for improvements and upgrades to buildings throughout the district.

The first bond proposal is an estimated 2.89 mills increase. The $29.7 million generated would pay for upgrades to safety, security, energy efficiency and technology in school buildings. It would cost the average taxpayer about $12 a month.

The second proposal is an estimated 1 mill increase. The $10.3 million generated would pay for more improvements, including upgrades to the learning atmosphere in all classrooms with new furniture and casework. It would cost the average taxpayer about $4 a month.

The first proposal must pass for the second proposal to be eligible to pass.

In Bertrand Township, voters will decide whether to retain the services of current township clerk Jane Lano or bring in challenger Don Vite to fill out her remaining term in a recall election.

Lano, 56, Republican, has been clerk since 2008. Vite (no party affiliation), 51, is a Bertrand Township native who owns Vite Greenhouses, in Bertrand Township, with his two brothers.

Voters statewide will decide whether or not to approve Michigan Proposal 1 — an amendment to the state constitution that would increase the state sales tax from 6 to 7 percent and generate $1.2 billion for roads, $130 million for mass transit, $300 million for schools and $95 million for local government.