Albion Council and School Board Wading into Dangerous Waters

Written by John Face

October 31, 2021

Editorial

Below you will see a copy of a post written by we assume Marcola Lawler. It is a detailed explanation of her feelings of promises made by Albion College President Mathew Johnson. The post below was put on her council Facebook page on October 26 at 5:55 P.M. Ms Lawler is the City of Albions Council member for the 4th Precinct.

On October 28 ( take note of the dates) Ms. Lawler gave the City a request to include a resolution (We assume written by Lawler as well, shown bottom, look at writing styles of both documents) for Monday nights council meeting, that will ask the Albion City Council to consider and pass the resolution regarding Johnsons vision, not Ms. Lawlers.

Now according to Lawler, Johnson made promises to her that funds would be available for low cost housing, renovations to the Washington Gardner school. He asked her for support of his vision which as you see below she gave. So because he promised everything she wanted to hear she appears willing to bring a resolution forward that is named after, wait for it, Dr. Johnson.

Now the fact that Johnson appears to have the votes needed to adopt his resolution should be concerning to all of us. No one single person should have a majority of elected officials beholding to him. The same applies to the Marshall Board of Education who also has members beholding to Johnson.

Many have asked over the last few days what exactly is going on? Why one questioner asked, does Johnson want the new school if the bond passes beside Washington Gardner which has no room and not at the old high school on Watson? Why did the School systems own survey show a majority of Albion area voters say they want the school at the Watson street location yet the school board plans on placing it at Washington Gardner? The biggest question is why are the members of Albion’s City Council unwilling to talk to citizens? Why have they not reached out to members in the community on whether we as a city should give our entire support?

Where does the money come from for Johnsons “dream”? It will take millions to accomplish and he has yet to raise nearly enough, so if he decides not to raise the money but instead raid the colleges endowment the college will be in serious financial trouble as they are already slowly making a downward trend money wise. Of course that might explain why he has redirected funds from staff and students to cover shortfalls.

Monday night at 7:00 P.M. your council will commit all of us to Mathew Johnsons vision, not theirs. Not sure why the hell we voted them on to council. If you are good Johnsons vision so be it. If not start calling your council members and tell them to stop Johnson from controlling them. Better yet show up and tell them in person during the first audience speaks session. Johnson has his supporters lined up to do so.

One further note. Just because you don’t think you are selling votes doesn’t mean you aren’t. I recall from my criminal justice class in high school, never lie to the feds, that alone gets you prison time. Ask Martha Stewart she knows.

RESOLUTION #2021-36

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.

Ayes               _____

Nays               _____

Absent           _____

_____________________________                                          

Jill Domingo, Clerk

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