Measure G ‘yes’ is vote for the future |

Measure G ‘yes’ is vote for the future

In last March’s primary election, while the rest of the counties in the area served by Sierra College were defeating the Measure E bond issue, Nevada County came within a few hundredths of a percent in attaining the required 55 percent of the votes.

This encouraged the college and supporters to put it on the ballot again on Nov. 2 – this time for western Nevada County campus alone, called Measure G. (There also is Measure H for Truckee voters.)

The Union encouraged a “yes” vote for the measure before, and we’re doing it again, for many reasons:

• A college campus is the heart of any community, but locally, Sierra College is really only half-done. It doesn’t have the “feel” of a campus because it doesn’t have enough space to offer all necessary core courses, and students must drive down the hill to the Rocklin branch.

The bond not only will add class space, it will renovate the current cramped classrooms so that students working on a two-year degree, or planning to transfer to a four-year college, will be able to get needed English, math and science courses in Nevada County.

Currently, as many as half the high school graduates here who go on to college are going to Sierra College, not only because costs are rising at four-year institutions, but the state is forcing more stringent admissions requirements on larger schools.

• The economic vitality of our community depends upon the college as a source for new employees, or for needed skill upgrades for current employees. Measure G will allow programs to train more nurses and public safety personnel like firefighters and police officers.

It also will upgrade and expand computer labs and the school’s technological capability, which can help attract more high-tech companies to the county, and spur the growth of businesses already here.

• There is no more valuable connection between a college and its community, and with Measure G the local campus will, for the first time, be able to be truly integrated with those of us who live here. Currently, there is no place at Sierra College where more than 75 people can gather. The bond will include a multi-purpose center for performances, public forums and other community events.

The cost of Measure G: about $35 per year for the average taxpayer.

On the ballot, the county’s Republican Central Committee calls Measure G non-essential. But we believe, along with many leading Republicans and other party members in Nevada County, that there is nothing more essential than a vital, comprehensive community college.

The great thing about Measure G over Measure E is that it is only for the Nevada County campus, and none of the money will be used for administrative costs or salaries. In addition, there will be regular audits of the $44 million to be raised, and a local citizens committee to oversee the eight-year project.

The Union strongly believes that support for Measure G will be one of the strongest investments for Nevada County’s future that voters can make.

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