Vote yes on the ballot’s Measure EBy: Dan Karleskint
There is one measure that voters must pay attention to: Measure E. Earlier this year, the Sierra College Board of Trustees voted to put Measure E before voters on the June Ballot and our Sierra College needs our help.
The last time voters passed a bond for Sierra College was 1957, when the college was only supporting 3,000 students. Times have changed. The college now serves over 20,000 students but its facilities, that were built almost 60 years ago, no longer meet today’s technological advancements and standards. Overcrowded is an understatement. Classes are being offered as late as 11 p.m. to accommodate as many students as possible and still not everyone is getting what they need.
Over one-third of the students select nursing as their major, yet the college can only support a small fraction of these students due to the fact there are not enough labs. Every nursing student who graduates from Sierra College is hired with a job in the region. That’s amazing, but still, we can be doing better.
What could be more important to the communities we live in than highly-trained first responders? Safe neighborhoods is one of the main factors associated with the high quality of life we’ve come to enjoy here in south Placer.
However, students studying police, fire and paramedic sciences often have to train all over the region because there is no public-safety training center. Measure E would dedicate funds to training our first responders here at home.
Measure E is so much more than updating and building new facilities, though. Did you know that Sierra College is known statewide and beyond for the support it provides to our veterans? Yet with additional resources, the college can serve our country’s heroes with even broader services.
Many of us also enjoy various enrichment programs through the Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) program. Sierra College is one of only four community colleges nationally to receive a grant from the Bernard Osher Foundation for this program. The Sierra College OLLI is over 15 years old and offers over 150 classes annually in disciplines such as art, film, health, history, literature, music and science, for more than 3,000 students.
Sierra College has a reputation for impeccable fiscal management. Balanced budgets and clean audits year after year. Measure E was drafted with the strictest taxpayer protections in mind, including a Citizens Oversight Committee and a guarantee that funds cannot be used for administrator or teacher salaries or be used for things like computers that will be technologically irrelevant in a short period of time.
We all have either benefited, or have known someone, who has benefited from Sierra College. It truly is “Our College” and in order to ensure the south Placer region continues to flourish and prosper, “Our College” needs our help. Vote Yes on Measure E!
Dan Karleskint is a Lincoln City Councilman.