Written by John Face
October 28, 2021
Albion College President Mathew Johnson and his supporters apparently have decided to make a public statement about the upcoming Bond and location of the proposed elementary school. City Council member Marcola Lawler submitted for consideration at Monday nights meeting a resolution (printed below) that is titled “A resolution restating the City’s support for Dr. Johnson’s position”. Why our elected officials wish to wade into this mess further is making more people go Hmmmmm.
The City Council is hell bent on making sure that the Washington Gardner site for the school is preferred assuming the bond passes. Everything below listed in this resolution is fine and can be easily done with the new school being built where a majority of voters want it, at the Opportunity High School yard on Watson Street, the districts own poll showed that. The only thing this is showing is that we have a slim majority of council members and their supporters who are willing to go against the will of the voters.
This all brings back the main story lines of City Watch over the last two months showing that Council members have benefited directly from Johnson, his money and facilities. Add in the school board members financial gain makes for a potent weapon he holds, a weapon of influence.
Is it criminal? Well I can tell you no one on the council or school board is qualified to say. What I am willing to say once again something smells pretty bad in Albion and it’s not this writer. If you are in favor or against the plan below show up Monday night at 7:00 P.M. for the council meeting and be heard.
A RESOLUTION RESTATING THE CITY’S SUPPORT FOR DR. JOHNSON’S VISION
Council Member ____________ moved, supported by Council Member _______________, to approve the following resolution.
WHEREAS, On Saturday, April 24, 2021, the Albion City Council at a special meeting approved 5-2 a motion to support Albion College President Johnson’s approach to public-private partnership outline in the letter entitled “Vision for the Future of Albion, the College and the City: and
WHEREAS, The Albion City Council’s approved motion supporting the public-private partnership vision made no exceptions, so it included support for the entire contents of the vision document, thus including and supporting the Washington Gardner site option; and
WHEREAS, The Albion City Council recognizes that access to quality education is an essential component of a sustainable and competitive community for residents and businesses; and
WHEREAS, Albion’s College’s President and Board of Trustees have expressed their desire to both strengthen the College’s engagement with the community and to ensure that the College’s future planning and investments are undertaken with a consideration of how they might also benefit the community as a whole; and
WHEREAS, Albion College President Mathew Johnson’s letter proposed a visionary plan for a public-private partnership in support of public education that would redevelop the site of the former Washington Gardner School by:
- Co-locating a new science, technology, engineering, arts, and math (STEAM) focused elementary school adjacent to the site;
- Establishing an Albion African-American history museum within the former school building;
- Expanding Albion College’s facilities to include new construction of a theater, a music performance hall, an NCAA compliant athletic arena, and instruction and practice spaces for the College’s education and music departments, respectively;
WHEREAS, The Albion City Council in April and now finds that President Johnson’s plan offers the best opportunity to strengthen public education in the City of Albion, especially as it would create a unique set of wrap-around opportunities and services for children and families of Albion;
NOW THEREFORE BE IT RESOLVED, the Albion City Council hereby again expresses its strongest support for the vision and plan articulated in the April 21, 2020 memorandum submitted to the Council and community by Albion College President Mathew Johnson entitled “A vision for the Future of Albion, the College, and the City” which included the Washington Gardner site option for the location of the proposed new Marshall Public Schools (MPS) elementary school in Albion;
BE IT FURTHER RESOLVED, the Albion City Council supports the vision outlined by Dr. Johnson even though the Battle Creek YMCA has decided to no longer partner with Albion College;
I hereby certify that the above resolution was adopted on November 1, 2021 in a regular session of the Albion City Council, and this is a true copy of that resolution.
Jill Domingo, Clerk