It's a big ask of voters, a $230 million bond measure in the midst of economic calamity caused the Covid-19 pandemic, but ask the Monterey Peninsula College Board of Trustees will do on Nov. 3. The five-member board voted unanimously in a special meeting today, July 30, to put the measure on the ballot.
Despite understanding the bond may be a tough sell and recognizing the burden residents of the district are already under, in the end, board members said it will take the education and training that MPC offers to students to help the region recover beyond the pandemic.
"I strongly believe that we have to have a vision that goes beyond Covid-19, that we're preparing not only our students, but our students will be entering the world that somehow recovers and heals from this time," said Trustee Rick Johnson. He pointed out that MPC-educated nurses and first responders are on the front lines of the pandemic currently.
If passed by voters, property owners would be assessed $18 per $100,000 of property value annually for 20 years. Interim MPC Superintendent/President David Martin laid out the estimated need: $30 million to expand programs at the Marina campus; $150 million to increase opportunities for skill development, technical, trade, health careers and job placement; $50 million for the first responder training center on former Fort Ord.
"I'm coming to this table today feeling like it may not be a really easy bond to sell to the voters, but it is something that I feel like we really do need to ask them to step forward and support our college," Board Chair Yuri Anderson said.