Public opposition is growing against plans for a standalone community college for Erie County. The opposition being fueled by an online petition getting hundreds of signatures.
An online petition opposing Erie County’s proposed community college is gaining more momentum as hundreds of people have signed it in the past couple of days.
“The petition is about Erie County taxpayers having a voice and these are folks that are taxed enough already.” said Brent Davis, the creator of the petition.
Once Davis gets a certain number of signatures, he is planning to present the petition to the Pennsylvania Board of Education.
“Majority of people do not support this and this petition is going to reflect when we present this to the Department of Education.” Davis said.
County Executive Kathy Dahlkemper says she believes a lot of people who don’t understand the community college model and that’s where this opposition is coming from.
“About a third of the people are not that great of supporters and then there are people who are in the middle. The fact that there are a number of signatures, I don’t think that that’s really a growth. Those people were already out there.” Dahlkemper said.
As far as how this proposed college will be paid for Dahlkemper says taxpayers should not worry.
“In the first five years, this money will come from our gaming funds, it will not come from the general. It will not be a tax increase.
Dahlkemper says her administration looked into having a referendum to hear taxpayers opinions on this topic, but State law prohibited that from happening. This new petition could signal to the state board of education that Erie is not as united in support of the college as originally presented.
This petition comes ahead of the county’s community college evidentiary hearing set for March.
To sign the petition, click here