Group opposes Mishawaka schools' $28M referendum

MISHAWAKA, Ind. -- A $28 million referendum is on the ballot to help fund Mishawaka schools. There are at least two Political Action Committees on both sides of the issue.

This week a Political Action Committee filed their paperwork with the St. Joseph County Clerk opposing the referendum.

On November 5, Mishawaka residents can vote yes or no to fund $28 million in school improvements.

Superintendent Terry Barker says its money they need to do basic upkeep.

"We have facilities that we need to repair, and we need to repair them now. We have windows that need to be replaced, we have technology upgrades that we need to do, and of course in light of Sandy Hook and some of the events that have happened with the schools over the last few years we want to increase the security efforts," said Barker.

If it passes, Mishawaka property owners will be the ones footing the bill.

According to the school district, on a home with a market value of $75,000, it will cost $48.58 per year or 13-cents a day. Click here to see their figures

Former school board member Mike Wojtysiak has formed a Politcal Action Committee opposing the referendum.

He argues that a yes vote will increase property taxes by 34 percent, which he says is too much of a hike for Mishawaka homeowners.

"Your vote will count in this election, so it's simple, do you want a 34 percent tax increase? You need to vote no if you want the 34 percent tax increase," said Wojtysiak.

In a political committee receipt report from the Friends of Mishawka Schools, it shows that St. Joseph Valley PHCC gave $7500 in support of the referendum.

We went to the office of the St. Joe Valley PHCC, but the office was closed.

We contacted President Charlie Watterson Jr and he gave this statement in support of the referendum.

As a 60 year old Association of mechanical contractors employing over 400 highly skilled local journeymen and apprentices, St Joe Valley Association of  Plumbing, Heating, and Cooling Contractors, recognizes the high value in first class schools in the Mishawaka area.  We rely on well trained young men and women in the Mishawaka area to fill the skilled positions that we offer.  We feel that world class learning environments for our children are essential to the success of our industry.

Charlie Watterson Jr.


St Joe Valley PHCC


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