FLINT TWP. — As the saying goes, if at first you don’t succeed, try and try again.
So the Carman-Ainsworth Board of Education decided last week to try again in November to ask voters to pass a half-mill increase.
The millage request was one of three put before voters in the May 7 election. A 10-year operating millage renewal passed 66.7 percent vs. 33.3 percent, as did a half-mill building and site sinking fund renewal with about 61 percent yes votes and 39 percent no.
But voters balked on the third request to increase the building and site sinking fund with about 57 percent voting no and 43 percent voting yes.
The school board is seeking the extra money to pay for technological improvements such as security upgrades, athletic field improvements and building laboratories for Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) classes.
Members of the CARES committee, a parents and volunteer group formed early this year to help get the millages passed, approached the board at its July 2 meeting to ask for a second try.
In a discussion at that meeting, board members agreed.
Peggy Anderson, one of the longest serving board members, recalled that it took a second try to pass a bond request 11 or 12 years ago.
She said the board need to do a better job of spreading the word that the millage increases is not expensive. Raising the sinking fund mill by a half-mill would cost the owner of a $100,000 house about $50 per year.
Board member Don Conway said he thought more should be done to reach younger voters.
“We need to increase (the turnout) of those who have a vested interest,” he said, explaining that many are parents of elementary school students but not even registered to vote. The failed millage voting percentage, almost precinct by precinct, was very similar to that of the first-time rejected bond proposal, he said.
Last week, the board officially approved a resolution to place the millage request on the Nov. 5 ballot. It requests a levy of 0.5 mills for ten years, 2014-2023. If approved, it would allow the school district to collect abut $350,000 in 2014 to be used for stated purposes.