5/3/23: 2 wins, 2 losses

Wednesday, May 3, 2023

High 53°/Low 38° Cloudy

Elections in Kalamazoo County yielded two wins and two losses yesterday. Also: KRESA has picked a new superintendent. And the city of Kalamazoo is supporting No Mow May.

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Two wins and two losses

Elections in Kalamazoo County yesterday resulted in two proposals passing and two being rejected by voters.

Throughout the county, voters supported a proposal to continue to fund county schools through the Kalamazoo Regional Education Service Agency (KRESA). The agency had asked voters to renew a 1.5-mill tax to fund schools throughout its service area. Nearly 60% of voters cast their ballots in favor of the measure, which extends the millage for six years.

Voters in the Climax-Scotts Community Schools district voted in favor of a bond proposal to fund facilities improvements. The bond proposal doesn’t actually raise taxes, just extends how long they’ll be in effect. The measure was approved by 60% of voters.

In Cooper Township, voters rejected a measure that would have raised money for a new fire station and a fire truck. The measure was a special assessment, which meant the township would hold special hearings each year to determine how much residents’ winter tax bills would be. Voters overwhelmingly didn’t like that and 71.3% of them voted the measure down.

And voters in Gull Lake voted to allow their tax rate to decline each year rather than fund the Gull Lake Community Schools. This measure was a non-homestead millage, which means the tax would have only applied to people’s vacation and rental homes, vacant land, and commercial or industrial properties. Nonetheless, 65.4% of voters opted to not increase the millage rate in the district.

Note: Absentee ballots had not yet been counted as of press time, so final election results may end up being slightly different.

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More News You Need To Know

KRESA picks new leader

The Kalamazoo Regional Educational Service Agency (KRESA) will soon have a new superintendent. On Monday, the KRESA Board of Education decided to pick Dedrick Martin to run the agency, which provides educational services to school districts in Kalamazoo County. Martin will come to Kalamazoo from Caledonia Community Schools where he has been superintendent since 2018. The district now goes into contract negotiations. Martin is expected to take over the role of superintendent for KRESA July 1. [MLive]

Survey: Kalamazooians most concerned about gun violence

The Kalamazoo Department of Public Safety (KDPS) has instituted a new system to get feedback from residents on how their officers are doing. The department has been using the My90 system for about a month, giving people links to an online survey after traffic stops and other interactions. In addition to reviewing officers, people are also asked about their worries for the community. Topping the list of concerns over the past month has been gun violence. Out of the 260 people who filled out the survey, 25.2% rated gun violence as their top safety concern. At the same time, only 3.1% of respondents ranked gang activity as a top concern. Other issues included theft, physical attacks, and homelessness.

The survey also shows that people are overwhelmingly satisfied with how officers do their jobs – even after having been pulled over. Of the 15 people who filled out the survey following a traffic stop, 73% said they viewed the department very positively. Only one person said they viewed the department negatively. However, respondents were hardly representative of the community. Respondents were overwhelmingly male. A third of those who filled out the survey following a traffic stop were Black, despite making up less than a quarter of the population. [WWMT]

No Mow May in Kalamazoo

If you live in the city of Kalamazoo, you are required to keep your lawn trimmed. According to city ordinance, your grass can’t be more than eight inches tall. But the city plans to ignore those rules for the rest of the month so residents can participate in No Mow May.

No Mow May is an effort to get people to let their lawns grow in an effort to help early pollinators such as bees and butterflies. MSU Extension conservationist Ashley Cole-Wick told WMUK that human development has reduced wildlife habitat over the years. “Providing areas of refuge for them in our own little patches of yard is just the least we can do for them,” she said. City officials said regular lawn rules enforcement will resume June 1. [WMUK]

Things To Do In Kalamazoo

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African American Quilt Display – Kalamazoo Public Library, Eastwood
1:00PM 5/3

High Blue Sky – O’Duffy’s Pub
6:00PM 5/3

Board Game Night – Niskers Bar
6:00PM 5/3

3 of a Kind – Hilton Garden Inn
7:00PM 5/3

Calvin Hinds Live – Maestro’s Pizza
7:00PM 5/3

Karaoke – Shakespeare’s Pub
8:30PM 5/3

Muffins and the Market – Portage District Library
9:00AM 5/4

KNAC Press Conference & Free Community Concert – Kalamazoo Nonprofit Advocacy Coalition
3:30PM 5/4

One Thirst: A Shared Journey – Living Water International
6:00PM 5/4

Beginner’s Guide to Roses – Wenke Greenhouses
6:00PM 5/4

Pizza and Pages – Comstock Township Library
6:00PM 5/4

Poetry Night w Iliana Rocha, Brandon Rushton, & Andrew Collard – this is a bookstore | Bookbug
7:00PM 5/4

Chicken & Biscuits – Farmers Alley Theatre
7:30pm 5/4-6; 2pm 5/7

Kitchen Dwellers w/ Sicard Hollow – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 5/4

62nd Annual Kalamazoo Rock, Gem & Mineral Show – Kalamazoo Expo Center
4pm 5/5, 10am 5/6-7

5th Anniversary Celebration – Kalamazoo County ID – El Concilio Kzoo
4:00PM 5/5

Art Hop – Downtown Kalamazoo
5:00PM 5/5

5:01 Ditch Friday on the patio with DJ MEL-V – JungleBird
5:00PM 5/5

Slipping – Open House Theatre Company
6pm 5/5-6, 2pm 5/7

Music with Steve Kamerling – Brick + Brine
6:00PM 5/5

Pitch Night – Startup Zoo
6:00PM 5/5

Rose Funeral – Papa Pete’s
6:30PM 5/5

The History of the Milky Way – Kalamazoo Astronomical Society
7:00PM 5/5

Silent Disco – Women’s Art & Innovation Center
7:00PM 5/5

Live Music with Bear Tracks Music – Green Door Distilling Co.
7:00PM 5/5

The Beer Garden Sessions ft. The Dots – Presidential Brewing Co.
7:00PM 5/5

After Hop Concert: Kait Rose & The Thorns – Haymarket Plaza
7:30PM 5/5

The Hunchback of Notre Dame – Kalamazoo Civic Theatre
7:30pm 5/5-6, 5/12-13, 5/19-20; 2pm 5/7, 5/14, 5/21

Sketch Show: Miss Communication – Dormouse Theatre
8:00PM 5/5

Something Borrowed Something New – The Clover Room
8:00PM 5/5

Cinco De Mayo Celebration w/ Cuatro Norteño, Ballet Folklorico De Mi Tierra – Bell’s Eccentric Cafe
8:00PM 5/5

Cold Leather Seats w/ The Founding – Final Gravity Brewing Co.
8:00PM 5/5

His Boy Elroy – The Dock At Bayview
8:00PM 5/5

See more upcoming events here.

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