Here is a video that we obtained of Lakeland Community College President Morris Beverage’s Town Hall meeting with their employees. In the video, Mr. Beverage tries to justify why their levy did not pass.
He made comments that 20,000 more people showed up to vote, and they, nor their political consultants, anticipated such a large increase. They should have advertised much more.
Forty seven thousand voted against the levy and forty three thousand voted for the levy.
So where do they go now? As Mr. Beverage states – they will stop “swinging for the fences” and play “small ball”. Read – they will be coming back to the voters or the State for more money. They are thinking about adding a 350 bed dormitory. Their biggest opponent according to Beverage – apathy.
[LFC Comments: Let me offer some advice to Morris Beverage – you are ABSOLUTELY CLUELESS why your levy failed. We have been told that you spent $350,000 in contributions given to the Lakeland Foundation. We will ask the Board of Elections for your Campaign Finance Reports so that we may determine who contributed to this failure. We will then make it available to the Lake County taxpayers. Why do you not ever consider being transparent with the taxpayers and putting that information on-line for everyone to see?
You and your high priced political consultants really failed to understand the Lake County audience. LCC is receiving over $20 million dollars annually in property taxes from Lake County taxpayers. This is an ~$10 million increase in ten years. The population of Lake County is aging; and if we continue on the path of ever increasing property taxes, we will price seniors and those living on fixed incomes out of their homes that they have worked all their lives to achieve. Mr. Beverage – most taxpayers are not afforded the opportunity to ‘double-dip’ as you do, and we are “tapped out”.
Secondly, who created the ballot language? It appears that taxes collected can be used for anything, and gives the college an opportunity to spend the money without any restraints.
“Proposed Bond Issue – $40,000,000 (Est. 0.4M) – Purchasing sites and for the purpose of all or part of the cost of purchasing sites and for the erection, furnishing, and equipment of buildings, including buildings used for Applied Engineering and Manufacturing, Math, and Student Readiness and Support, and for the acquisition or construction of any property which the board of trustees of a community college district is authorized to acquire or construct, including infrastructure and improvements, and repaying moneys previously borrowed, advanced, or granted and expended for such purpose to issue and sell bonds of the College District – 28 years -commencing 2018.”
We have heard that your goal is to make Lakeland Community College in the image of Case Western University. What happened to the original mission of being a low cost education alternative to a four year college? A community college does not need a 350 bed dormitory, unless you wish to continue offering low education costs to illegal aliens. You had the audacity to double the cost of the “College Credit Plus Program”, thereby increasing the costs for local school districts and, by extension, increasing property taxes for seniors.
We are going to continue to expose the wasteful spending and inflated salaries and pensions of Lakeland Community College.
LCC has experienced a 9.6% drop in enrollment in one year, and yet you still want to spend more of the taxpayers’ money. We call that “chutzpah”! LCC enrollment drop